Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Planning

Types of Plans

   Posted On :  17.05.2018 09:57 pm

Different types of plans are developed by an organisation, namely mission, strategies and policies, procedures, rules, programmes and budgets.

Types of Plans
 
 
Different types of plans are developed by an organisation, namely mission, strategies and policies, procedures, rules, programmes and budgets. One common thing is, they all refer to a future course of action. However, some variances in respect of the scope and operation are found in the implementation. Some are single-use plans while some are standing plans. They are discussed below:
 

Mission or Purpose

 
 
Organisations exist in society. Therefore, it is appropriate to relate their existence to society by satisfying a particular need of the society. Mission may be defined as “a statement which defines the role that an organisation plays in the society”. The terms ‘mission’ or ‘purpose’ are often used interchangeably. An organisation’s mission statement includes its philosophy and basic purpose for which it exists. It establishes the values, beliefs, and guidelines that the organisation holds in high esteem. Mission statement suggests how an organisation is going to conduct its business. It defines the basic intentions of the firm. A Clear definition of ‘mission’ or ‘purpose’ is necessary to formulate meaningful objectives. Answers to two important questions are provided by the mission statement: what is our business? and what should it be? These questions force the management to define their customers and their needs.
 

Policies

 
 
Koontz and O’Donnel define policy as “a general statement of understanding which guides the thinking and action in decision-making.” Policies provide the framework within which managers operate. Policies exist at all levels in the organisation. Some may be major policies affecting the whole organisation, while others may be minor or derivative policies affecting the functioning of departments or sections within the departments.
 
 
Policies are laid down by the management for all the important functional areas. As such, we hear about production policies, financial policies, marketing policies and personnel policies, to mention a few. For instance, in the personnel area, specific policies may be formulated for recruitment, training, compensation, etc. Accordingly whenever the need for recruitment arises, the personnel manager consults the existing recruitment policy of the company and initiates the steps necessary to fill the vacancies. Thus it is evident that the personnel manager operates within the broad policy of the company in recruiting the people. Thus, policy is a one time standing decision that helps the manager in making day-to-day decisions in their operational areas.
 

Procedures

 
 
Policies are subdivided and stated in terms of procedures – A series of related steps or tasks to be performed in a sequential way. For example: A company’s policy may be to sell old stock at a discount. The procedure may explain how to decide which product is obsolete and what percentage of discount is to be offered. But procedures, if simple and clear would ensure order in the performance of operations. Though procedures exist at all levels in an organisation, they are more detailed at the lower levels. In common parlance, they are called ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ (SOPs).
 
Procedures for placing orders for material and equipment, for sanctioning different types of employee’s leave, for handling grievances at the shop floor level, etc., suggest how each of these has to be handled. Policies and procedures are closely interrelated. For instance, a company may follow time-bound promotion policy to promote people from within. But the operational part of the policy is specified by the procedure – the formalities to be fulfilled to effect the promotion are dictated by the procedure.
 

Rules

 
 
A rule is also a plan. A rule is a prescribed course of action that explicitly states what is to be done under a given set of circumstances. Rules are plans in that they suggest the required actions. A rule requires that a definite action has to be taken in a particular way with respect to a situation. Some definiteness is associated with rules. For example, ‘no smoking’ is a rule. The essence of the rule is that it reflects a managerial decision that certain actions be taken – or not be taken.

 Rules should not be confused with policies and procedures. Policies contain some operational freedom or discretion while rules allow no discretion in their application. Similarly, procedures though different form rules may contain rules regarding the do’s and don’t’s. For example, there may be a procedure to attend to customer grievances in respect of post-sale service. The procedure may contain a rule that free service is available only for a period of two years after the sale.
 

Programs

 
 
A programme is a broad term which includes goals, policies, procedures, rules and steps to be taken in putting a plan into action. Terry and Franklin define program as “a comprehensive plan that includes future use of different resources in an integrated pattern and establishes a sequence of required time schedules for each in order to achieve stated objectives”. Thus, a programme includes objective, policies, procedures, methods, standards and budgets. For instance, launching Prithvi satellite is a program “Jawahar Rojgar Yojana” is a programm. Program may be major or minor. For instance, a company may embark upon modernization program of the plant and machinery and other manufacturing systems in a big way. By all means such an effort is a major program. Similarly, a large organisation may start computerizing all its activities. On the other hand, modernisation of small equipment in some section of the factory and computerization of a particular operation in a certain department may be considered as a minor program.
 

Budgets

 
A budget is a plan statement for a given period of time in future expressed in financial or physical units. Budget contains expected results in numerical terms. A budget is a quantitative expression of a plan. Organizational budgets vary in scope. Master budget which contains the consolidated plan of action of the whole enterprise is in a way the translated version of the overall business plan of the enterprise. Similarly, production budget represent the plan of the production department. Again, capital expenditure budget, raw material budget, labour budget, etc. are a few minor budgets in the production department. One of the advantages of budgets is they facilitate the comparison of actual results with the planned ones by providing yardsticks for measuring performance.
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