Principles of Management MGT503
PLANNING: FUNCTIONS & BENEFITS
WHAT IS PLANNING?
Planning involves defining the organization's goals, establishing an overall strategy for achieving these
goals, and developing a comprehensive set of plans to integrate and coordinate organizational work. The
term planning as used in this chapter refers to formal planning. The quality of the planning process and
appropriate implementation probably contribute more to high performance than does the extent of planning.
WHY DO MANAGERS PLAN?
Purposes of Planning.
Planning is important and serves many significant purposes.
Planning gives direction to the organization.
Planning reduces the impact of change.
Planning establishes a coordinated effort.
Planning reduces uncertainty.
Planning reduces overlapping and wasteful activities.
Planning establishes objectives or standards that are used in controlling.
HOW DO MANAGERS PLAN?
Planning is often called the primary management function because it establishes the basis for all other
functions. Planning involves two important elements: goals and plans.
The Role of Goals and Plans in Planning
Goals--desired outcomes for individuals, groups, or entire organizations.
Goals are objectives--the two terms are used interchangeably.
Types of goals.
Financial performance versus strategic goals
Stated versus Real.
Stated goals are official statements of what an organization says, and what it wants its various
stakeholders to believe, its goals are.
Real goals are those that an organization actually purses.
Questions and Answers
Planning involves defining the organization's goals, establishing an overall strategy for achieving
those goals, and developing a comprehensive set of plans to integrate and coordinate organizational work.
It's concerned with both ends (what's to be done) and means (how it's to be done).
What purposes does planning serve?
Planning gives direction, reduces the impact of change, establishes coordinated effort, reduces
uncertainty, minimizes waste and redundancy, and sets the standards used in controlling.
What is the relationship between planning and organizational performance?
Formal planning is associated with higher profits, higher return on assets, and other positive
financial results. The quality of the planning process and the appropriate implementation of the plans
probably contribute more to high performance than does the extent of planning.
Principles of Management MGT503
Differentiate between goals and plans.
Goals are desired outcomes for individuals, groups, or entire organizations. Plans are documents
that outline how goals are going to be met and that typically describe resource allocations, schedules, and
other necessary actions to accomplish the goals.
What are the different types of goals?
Organizations may utilize financial and/or strategic goals, stated and/or real goals.
Describe each of the different types of plans.
Strategic plans apply to the entire organization, establish the organization's overall goals, and seek
to position the organization in terms of its environment. Operational plans specify the details of how the
overall goals are to be achieved. Long-term plans are plans with a time frame beyond three years. Short-
term plans cover one year or less. Specific plans are clearly defined and leave no room for interpretation.
Directional plans are flexible plans that set out general guidelines. Single-use plans are one-time plans
specifically designed to meet the needs of a unique situation. Standing plans are ongoing plans that provide
guidance for activities performed repeatedly and include policies, rules, and procedures.
The Nature of organizational Goals
The use of goals has several benefits.
Performance can be improved.
Expectations can be improved.
The Controlling function can be facilitated so that progress can be assessed and
corrective action taken.
Meeting goals can increase motivation.
The three levels of goals within an organization form a hierarchy of goals, with lower-level goals forming a
mean-end chain with the next level of goals.
Strategic goals are broadly defined targets or future end results set by top
Tactical goals are the targets or future end results usually set by middle
management for specific departments or units.
Operational goals are those targets or future end results set by lower
management that address specific, measurable outcomes required from the lower
Linkage of goals and plans.
Goal and plans are closely related in that plans specify the means to achieving the goals.
Plans, like goals, enter into a hierarchy of levels and priority.
Strategic plans are detailed action steps mapped out to reach strategic goals.
Strategic plans are organizational wide and are developed by top
The time horizon tends to be long 3 to 5 years or more.
Tactical plans are the means charted to support implementation of the strategic
plan and achievement of tactical goals.
Tactical plans tend to be more specific and concrete than strategic plans.
Tactical plans are important to the success of strategic plans.
The time horizon tends to be intermediate in range 1 to 3 years.
Operational plans are the means devised to support implementation of tactical
plans and achievement of operational goals.
Operational plans spell out specifically what must be accomplished to
achieve operational goals.
Principles of Management MGT503
The time horizon is relatively short-tem--usually less than 1 year as a
Plans can be categorized according to the extent to which they will be used on a recurring
Single-use plans are plans aimed at achieving a specific goal that, once reached,
will most likely not recur in the future.
A program is a comprehensive plan that coordinates a complex set of
activities related to a major non-recurring goal.
A project is a plan that coordinates a set of limited-scope activities that
do not need to be divided into several major projects in order to reach a
major non-recurring goal. Programs are broader than projects.
Standing plans are plans that provide ongoing guidance for performing recurring
A policy is a general guide that specifies the broad parameters within
which organization members are expected to operate in pursuit of
A procedure is a prescribed series of related steps to be taken under
certain recurring circumstances.
Procedures are detained and inflexible; policies are general.
Well established and formalized procedures are often called
standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Different levels of goals and plans are related to different time horizons.
Strategic plans typically involve time periods of 5 years or more, but the time frame is dependent upon the
stability of the industry in question.
Tactical goals and plans typically involve time periods of 1 to 5 years.
Operational goals and plans can be for as short a period as 1 week or as long as 1
The planning process can be used to promote innovation in organizations.
The organizational mission statement can be a primary means of encouraging
The goals component can translate the mission in a way supporting innovation.
The plans component can provide actual plans for achieving innovative outcomes.
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