Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Planning

Principles of Planning

   Posted On :  17.05.2018 09:36 pm

Systematic planning is essential for the success and survival of any organization.

Principles of Planning
Systematic planning is essential for the success and survival of any organization. Organizations fail not because they don’t plan, but because they don’t plan in an effective way. An understanding of the following principles helps one to achieve effectiveness in planning, so that you can guard yourself against the possible mistakes that are often committed by managers.

Take Time to Plan

As the plan is a decision regarding a future course of action, it specifies the sequence of events to be performed. It involves the commitment of organizational resources in a particular way. Therefore, if a plan is not conceived well, the resources would be put to wrong use. It becomes a wasteful exercise resulting in agony and frustration. To avoid such unpleasant outcomes, several probing questions have to be asked. Planning in haste with incorrect information, unsound assumptions and inadequate analysis of the environment has to be avoided by all means. Otherwise, you may save some time in quickly developing a plan, but in the event of things going wrong, you are hard pressed for time and resources to correct yourself. It not only lands you in trouble, but the organization as well.

Planning can be top down and bottom up

Normally in any organization major enterprise plans are developed by the top management. These plans are wider in scope and provide the direction to the whole organization. They spell out what the organization wants to achieve over the years. The overall plan thus formulated by the top management is split into departmental plans. Accordingly, plans for production, marketing, finance, personnel and so on, stem from the basic plan of the organization. The other operational plans at various levels down the organization flow from the departmental plans. This approach is called top-down approach to planning.
In contrast, bottom-up approach involves information emanating from the lower levels – that is, top management collects information from lower levels. On the basis of such information, plans are formulated. The underlying assumption is that people at the operational level are closer to the action and they possess valuable information. In this approach, the initiative for planning comes from the lower levels in the organization. This approach makes use of the rich experience of the subordinates. It also helps to motivate the people and elicit commitment from them. However, the choice of the method depends on the size of the organization, the organizational culture, the preferred leadership style of the executive and the urgency of the plan.

Involve and communicate with all those concerned

Modern business organizations are so complex that various operations are highly interrelated. Such an interrelation of activities requires the involvement of all the people concerned with the achievement of goals. For instance, a plan to improve the quality of the products (Quality control plan) may require the cooperation of the people in the production. Such participation helps in instilling a sense of commitment among the people. They also in turn gain a sense of pride for having been a party in deciding the plan. Such an involvement makes possible the process of sharing information. If concerned people are not involved, there may be unnecessary gaps in the execution because of lack of understanding of the plans.

Plans must be flexible and dynamic

Your managerial career indeed would be a “bed of roses” if there are no unexpected changes in the environment. Day in and day out, you are confronted with too many changes forcing you into so many dilemmas or problems. Most of such problems are caused by unexpected events in the environment. If the plan is rigid with less scope for modifications as required by the changes in the environment, the organization would ultimately sink. In a static environment, of course, there may not be a problem with a rigid plan. But in a dynamic environment, to meet the unexpected changes, adequate flexibility has to be built into the plan. Otherwise, the plan itself becomes a limiting factor.

Evaluate and revise

While building into the plans the required flexibility, you should not lose sight of the additional costs involved to buy such flexibility. You must also remember that flexibility in plans may not be possible always. For example, a plan for a petroleum refinery may not offer any flexibility because the machinery can hardly be used for any other purpose. Evaluation of the plan at regular intervals is necessary to make sure that it is contributing to the objectives. Like a pilot, who in the high skies checks the course to make sure that he is flying in the right direction and at the right altitude, the manager has to evaluate and review the plan. Such an exercise enables to initiate the corrective measures at the right time before it is too late. This depends on the accuracy of the information systems in the organization.


Tags : Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Planning
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