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Nature and Characteristics of Planning management

Updated on November 11, 2013

Nature and Characteristics of Planning

Managerial function has some unique characteristics of its own which separate it from other functions. They are:

Primacy of Planning: Planning is the first and foremost activity of Managerial function. Management starts with planning. Planning gives base for other functions like organizing, staffing, directing controlling etc. It is equally important like all other managerial functions.

Planning a Process: Planning is a process of management which starts with identification of mission and goals of the organization and ends with making arrangements for fulfilling the goal.

Ubiquity/pervasiveness of Planning: Planning is a function which exists in all levels of managerial hierarchy. Starting from the the CEO to down to the last line worker. But the content and quality of planning differ in different levels. Planning of top level executives considerably affect the function of organization. Middle and lower level managerial planning will not affect much of the function of the organization. Some examples of planning are: Production planning, Material requirement planning, financial planning, project planning etc.

Future orientation: Planning are always future oriented. It is a process which look ahead or think ahead and making provision to tackle future event. While planning for the future managers would consider the situations and events of present and past within and outside the organization.

Information base: Information is the basis of planning. Without information planning is not possible. Information about present, future and past are needed for the good planning. It will help the managers to evaluate the present and future situations and plan accordingly for the future.

Rationality: Planning is done based on reasons rather than emotions. That is why planning is said to be a purposeful and conscious managerial function and is backed by necessary information, understanding and knowledge. Planning decisions are made with the awareness of their consequences. Managers are unemotional in their approach to planning.

Formal and informal Nature: Normally planning is of formal and informal nature. Formal planning is done through investigation and analysis of various factors. It will be a step by step process to achieve the goal. Various jobs are allocated and communicated to managers of different levels and are recorded for future reference/control and accountability. Informal planning is done by the managers and communicated them to others through the word of mouth which are flexible. Informal planning is considered as a trial and error process.

Intellectual Process: Planning is a process which needs the ability to think in a logical way and understanding things. It needs the ability or skill to view the future opportunity and threats. The person who does the planning should have the ability to see the problems and analyze it and find an alternate way to solve these problems. Choosing the right course of action is the most important skill needed by the person who does the planning

Pragmatic, action-orientation: Even if it is an intellectual process, it needs practical, flexible and sensible way of action rather than a fixed ideas or theories. Think before acting and decide before doing are part of the culture of planning. Actions should be practical and implementable. Planning follows action and these actions should be discussed and confirmed in advance.

Decision making: Planning involves decision making and problem solving. It also involves identification of the issues which needs to be addressed, collection of relevant information/facts, finding out the most appropriate alternative course of action or choice. Decisions are made based on organizational policies, programs, strategies, objectives, other plans and procedures. It also involve allocation, mobilization and commitment of resources.

Dynamism: Planning is a dynamic process and it is based on the external and internal changes of environment. Delay in planning may cause huge losses. Market changes and current fashion trends are to be taken in to consideration while planning. The trend is changing every day. If the organization is not changing as per the current trend, the organization will fail to continue its existence. It is a continuous process of assessment and reassessment of goals, resources, directions opportunities and problems of the organization.

Levels and of planning: On the basis of scope there are two levels:

  1. Corporate Planning covering the entire organization

  2. Sub-corporate or functional Planning – within the various divisions or units.

On the basis of significance we may divide planning into

  1. Strategic planning

  2. Tactical or operational planning.

On the basis of time we can divide planning into:

  1. Long term planning covering periods of more than one year.

  2. Short term planning covering a period of one year or less.

Even if we divide planning into different levels to analyze, it must be coordinated and balanced to support one another and attain the objectives of the organization.

Types of plans: Plans are categorized into two groups:

  1. Single use pans – those which are designed to meet specific, non-repetitive and unique situations

  2. Standing Plans – those which are fairly stable and are meant to handle a wide range of repetitive situations over a period of time.

What is planning


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      Easily understandable......

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      thank u so much..nice and excellent words...easy to understand...

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      pup 3 years ago

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      Thank you so much

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      merga 4 years ago


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      Naqiburahman 5 years ago

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      venky 6 years ago

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      hey thanks a lot. it really helpd me too prepare for my exam once again thanks a lot

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      Babu 6 years ago

      Hai this s helpful for studen

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      sarah 6 years ago

      why planning is done? plz tell me

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      sarah 6 years ago


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      Olalusi moradeke 6 years ago

      After reading this article i am so sure that i am getting 5 points in my exams in Nigeria

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      Mathi. . . . 6 years ago

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      garcha jatt 6 years ago

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      Klaus Krebs 6 years ago

      Great distinctions. I would only add one small topic: maximizing goalorientation after planning as part of the planning. How can you motivate yourself and others to follow the plan?

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      faizan malik 6 years ago

      awesome article with rich information!!!

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      youcanwin 7 years ago

      Thanks all for your visits and comments

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      Kheleon,  7 years ago

      It was a very good article. Easier to read and understand.

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      neldie 7 years ago

      thank you very much this article is very interesting and comprehensive

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      sun 7 years ago

      thank you so much for this article... its a big help. more power

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      umair 7 years ago

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    • youcanwin profile image

      youcanwin 8 years ago

      Thanks for your comment

    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi, youcanwin:

      I like this article, because it breaks down the information. This can also help people who have a hard time "chunking down" what they need to do on a daily basis. It is a good foundation.


      Dr. Cherie