Planning is something all organization needs to be successful. It doesn’t matter what sector it is i.e., government, private businesses (big or small), and even in our personal lives. Sometimes, we wonder why one business is doing better than the other, or why a certain town is more industrialized than the rest of its neighboring towns. It all boils down to how its leaders emphasize planning, how they foresee opportunities and develop ways and means for the betterment of the organization’s future.
What is Planning?
There are several definitions of planning. To further understand what planning really means, we have collected some points of view from different people about what planning means to them.
‘Planning is the selecting and relating of facts and the making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.”- George Terry
“The determination in advance of a line of action by which certain results are to be achieved.”- Hart
“Planning is an intellectual process, conscious determination of course of action, the basing of decision on purpose, facts, and considered estimates.”- Koontz and O’Donnell
“Planning is the thinking process, the organized forecast, the vision based on fact and experience that is required for intelligent action.”- Alfred and Beaty
“Management planning involves the development of forecasts, objectives, policies, programs, procedures, schedules and budgets.”- Louis A. Allen
To summarize, planning is about “thinking in advance what is to be done, when it is to be done, how it is to be done, and by whom it should be done”. It is the bridge connecting where we are now and where we want to go in the future.
Importance of Planning
When you decide to start a business or career, planning is one of the things you need to do. Doing anything without knowing where you will go will just end up in failure. Planning is the most important tool we can use to succeed. Thus, we provide you five reasons why planning is important.
1. It gives Direction
The first step in the planning process is setting your objectives. By doing this, it will give you a definite idea of what to do, how to do it, etc. In short, the attainment of your objectives will depend on how much you take planning seriously.
2. Reduces risks
Tomorrow is not the same as today. An organization has to face a lot of uncertainties and unexpected situations every day. Here comes planning where its main agenda is foreseeing the future (anticipating the positive and negative changes). In planning, specific actions on how to overcome problems are already laid down, thus reducing future risks.
The more prepared an organization is, the higher the percentage of getting through any problems.
3. Promotes innovative ideas
In an organization, planning isn’t done by a certain individual only. It is a team effort. By providing different ideas from different people, the best ideas get discovered and will likely be the key to the organization’s success.
4. Facilitates decision making
One of the things entrepreneurs and managers need to do in running a business or organization is to decide what and how to do things. Decision-making skills are vital in planning. Keeping in mind the past experiences (failures and successes), the activities and actions you’ll decide to do for the future will determine the course of your business or organization.
5. Evaluation and Control
Planning is vital especially when setting target sales, for example. You can keep track of the progress of your business, whether you’ve reached your target or not. and if not, you can evaluate and think of actions on how you can increase your sales.
In planning, we will know which area to look at, what needed the most attention, and what factor needed evaluation and control.