The planning process is a step that the company takes to develop a budget to direct its future activities. Developed documents may include:
1. Strategic plans (long-distance, high-level company goals)
2. Tactical plans (specific plans for working towards goals in strategic planning)
3. Operational Planning (detailed plans for a specific department to implement)
4. Project plan (launch a new product like project implementation or make new plant)
The first primary task of planning management is that before all other works. The planning function involves deciding what to do and how to do it? Therefore, the manager concentrates on his entire planning and planning process. Let’s take a look at the eight important steps of the planning process.
Identify the need for action: An important part of the planning process is to be aware of the firm’s external environment as well as business opportunities within the firm. Once recognizing such occasions, the manager can recognize the functions that they need to realize. A realistic look should be placed on the possibility of these new opportunities and SWOT analysis should be done. For example, say the government’s plan to promote cottage industries in semi-urban areas. A firm can look for this opportunity to find out.
Setting the purpose: This is the second and perhaps most important step of the planning process. Here we establish the objectives for the entire organization and individual departments. Organizational objectives provide a general direction, the objectives of departments will be more planned and detailed.
The objective may be long term and short duration. They point to the end result that the company wants to get. Therefore, the objectives will be bowed down from the managers and guide the employees and move them in the right direction.
Developing complex: Planning is always done keeping in view the future, however, the future is always uncertain. Therefore, some assumptions will be made in management work. These perceptions are complex. Such assumptions are done in the form of forecasts, current plans, previous policies, etc.
These planning campuses are also of two types – internal and external. External beliefs are related to factors like political environment, social environment, the advancement of technology, competition, government policies, etc. Internal beliefs deal with policies, availability of resources, quality of management, etc.
These assumptions must be identical according to the organization. All the managers should be aware of these complexes and must agree with them.
Identifying the options: The fourth step of the planning process is to identify the available options for managers. There is no way to achieve the firm’s objectives, there is a multitude of options. All these optional courses should be identified. The manager should have options available. Perhaps he expects an innovative option for more efficient results. If he does not want to use, he will stick to more regular courses of action. The problem is not available with this step, but to limit them to a reasonable amount of options so that they all can be well evaluated.
Also read | Objective of planning
Investigating the optional course of action: The next step in the planning process is to evaluate each of the alternate schemes and closely examine it. Every option will go through an examination where all professionals and opposition will be weighed. Alternative plans need to be evaluated in the wake of organizational objectives. For example, if this is a financial plan. Then it seems that its risk-assessed assessment will be done. Detailed calculation and analysis are done to ensure that the plan is able to achieve the objectives in the best and most efficient way.
Selection of alternatives: Finally, we reach the decision-making process of the planning process. Now the best and most viable plan will be chosen to implement. The ideal plan is most beneficial for at least negative consequences and is also conducive to dynamic conditions. The election is clearly based on scientific analysis and mathematical equations. But intuition and experience of managers should also play a big role in this decision. Sometimes different aspects of different schemes are linked with an ideal plan.
Planning a helper plan: Once you have chosen to implement the plan, the managers will have to come up with one or more helpful plans. These secondary plans help in implementing the main plan. For example, plans for the appointment of more people, train personnel, extension of the office, etc. are supporting plans for the main plan to launch a new product. So all these secondary plans are actually part of the main plan.
Also read | Types of plans
Implementation of the plan: And finally, we come to the final stage of the planning process, plan implementation. This happens when all other tasks of management come into play and the plan is implemented to achieve the organization’s objectives. The tools required for this kind of implementation include the types of plans- procedures, policies, budgets, rules, standards, etc.