Planning can be defined as the process through which principals of an organization or a company set objectives, make an comprehensive evaluation of the future, as well as chart the courses of action with a prospect to attaining the organizational objectives. (Bienhaus, 2018).
According to (Kiran, 2019), Planning as a part of management function has the following components.
- Objectives. The critical task of planning in a company is to rule out the objectives of the enterprise. Objectives commonly refers to goals through which all managerial undertakings are directed at. Therefore, all planning work must point out clearly the goals that the company has to realize from the proposed business undertakings. However, when planning steps are taken, these goals are made more meaningful and concrete. For instance, if the company’s goal is earning profit, the activity involved in planning will specify how much profit is to be gained considering all constraining and facilitating factors.
- Forecasting. This refers to the interpretation as analysis of the future in relation to the activities and working of a venture. Forecasting in business mainly refers to analyzing statistical data and other political, economic as well as information concerning the market for the aim of reducing the risks involved in sorting out business decisions as well as long range plans. This element issues a rational foundation for foreseeing the shape of the future enterprise transactions and their needs as to material and man.
- Policies. The process of planning needs laying down of policies for the easy accomplishment of the goals of the business. Policies refer to principles or statements that direct different principals at different levels in inventing decisions. They provide a critical foundation for comprehensive operation. Policies set comprehensive boundaries through which the managers are anticipated to function while making decisions. For example, production policy, sales policy, personal policy and financial policy.
- Procedures. They defines a series of events for a identified course of action. However, there are differences between policies and procedures, policies mainly issues directives to thinking and action while procedures are specific and definite steps to thinking and action. Procedures are mainly steps in a sequential order within an area steered by the policies. The can be defined as ways by means of which policies are imposed. Examples of procedures are sale procedures and purchase procedures.
- Rules. Another component of planning as a management function is rule. It states vital course of action in a certain occasion. It functions as directive and key in the nature of a decision made by the principals in the management. It stipulates a definite as well as rigid course of action to be followed in various business activities without any scope for discretion of deviation.
- Programs. These are detailed plans of action abound to in genuine order in regard to the objectives, procedures, and policies. They there result to a solid course of interlinked actions for the achievement of an aim. However, programming entails dividing into stages key activities to attain the goals in a company, determining the order between various steps, fixing up performance responsibilities for each stage, and allocating particular duties to each step.
- Budgets. Budget can be explained as an estimate of money, equipment and materials in numerical form needed for execution of programs and plans. It outlines the size of the program and entails income and outgo, output and input.
- Projects. This refer to a single-use plan which is a section of an overall program. It involves primarily financial investment, merits from which can be accounted in future. For example, outlays of land, machinery, development and building.
- Strategies. These refers to tools outlines and gained from the point of view of the customers, employees, government and suppliers. However, great strategy o planning from the competitive point of view is to be totally laid out somehow about planning secrets of the cross competitors and also put together its own plan.
In the management of a company, planning serves as a fundamental element in its functioning. This is because other company management functions such as organizing, controlling, leading and staffing results from planning function, (Klacmer, 2017). Planning makes organizations ready for future today through examining what a company needs to achieve and how it go about accomplishing that objective. Planning being the primary function in any company, its principals will spend more of their time planning for various things that might occur in the company. Generally, a manager will develop a plan that is directed at attaining some company goal, for example, improving consumer service or increasing the rate of sales.
For example, Ida who is the enrollment manager has discovered a fast decline in the number of students admitting in the business program, therefore, she develops an objective to enlarge admissions in that section. Ida must therefore spend time laying out the key steps she and her staff associated with admission need to undertake so as to enlarge the admission numbers of students in this undergraduate program. Therefore, the steps that need to be engaged include such things as increasing advertisement of the program online, especially on business related sites, developing a new advertisement for radio or television, or through requesting current business students to advise fellow students to enroll in the program. Therefore this steps are arranged in an organized manner in order to create a convincing message for the new students joining the colleges to choose the program.
What are the steps that are involved in the planning process as a management function?
Why is planning important in a company as a management function?
Klačmer Čalopa, M. (2017). Business owner and manager’s attitudes towards financial decision-making and strategic planning: Evidence from Croatian SMEs. Management: journal of contemporary management issues, 22(1), 103-116.