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Planning

Planning Components

Planning is one of the most important aspects of management. A perfect plan can increase profits to their optimum levels. When it comes to making plans, one must keep several things in mind. These include the components of planning. Each component plays a big role in planning.

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Components of Planning

The entire process of planning consists of many aspects. These basically include missions, objectives, policies, procedures, programmes, budgets and strategies.

Mission

This is one of the first components of planning. The mission of an organization basically dictates its fundamental purposes. It describes what exactly it wants to achieve. The mission may be either written or implicit from the organization’s functioning.

A mission statement describes who the products and customers of a business are. It shows the direction in which the business intends to move and what it aims to achieve.

Even the basic values and beliefs of the organization are a part of this. One can also understand its attitude towards its employees from the mission statement.

components of planning

Many stakeholders of a business use its mission statement. Managers use it to evaluate their success and set goals. On the other hand, employees use it to foster a sense of unity and purpose. Even customers and investors use it to understand how the business intends to work in the future.

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Objectives

Objectives represent the end results which an organization aims to reach. We can also refer to it as goals or targets. Not just planning but all factions of business management begin with the setting of objectives.

In terms of the types of objectives, they may be either individualistic or collective. They can even be long-term and short-term depending on their duration. They can also be general or specific in terms of their scope.

Managers of a business should lay down their objectives clearly and precisely. They must consider their mission and values before setting their goals. Furthermore, they must ensure that their objects for each activity are in consonance with each other.

Policies

Policies are basically statements of understanding or course of action. They guide the decision-making process for all activities of the organization. Consequently, they impose limits on the scope of decisions.

For example, a company might have a policy of always paying a minimum dividend of 5% of profits. So, when it decides to pay a dividend, the amount cannot be below 5%.

Just like the mission statement, even policies of an organization may be expressly written or implied. Managers make policies for all activities of a business, including sales, production, human resource, etc.

Policies should never be too rigid because that excessively limits functioning. Policy-makers must also ensure they explain policies to employees clearly. This will prevent any ambiguities that may arise. Policies must also change with time to suit new challenges and circumstances.

Procedures

Procedures are some of the most important components of planning. They describe the exact manner in which something has to be done. They basically guide actions for activities that managers and employees perform.

Procedures also include step-by-step methods. Even rules regulating actions come within the ambit of procedures. The planning process must ensure that procedures are always practical. They should not be rigid and difficult to implement.

Budget

Budgets are plans that express expected results in numerical terms. Whenever an organization expects to do something, it can make a budget to decide on its target. Most activities, targets, and decisions require budgeting. For example, an income budget shows expected financial results and profits.

Programme

A programme is nothing but the outline of a broad objective. It contains a series of methods, procedures, and policies that the organization needs to implement. In other words, it includes many other components of planning.

For example, a business may have a diversification programme. Consequently, it will make budgets and policies accordingly for this purpose. Planners and managers can implement programmes like these at various levels.

Strategies

A strategy in simple words refers to minute plans of action that aim to achieve specific requirements. Proper implementation of strategies leads to the achievement of the requisite goals. The nature of an organization’s values and missions will determine how it will strategize.

Solved Examples on Components of Planning

Consider the following statements and state which components of planning they refer to.

1) This component is expressed in numerical terms

2) All actions are limited by this component

3) This component basically shows the fundamental aims of the business organization

4) Even methods and rules are a part of these components of planning

5) This component may be long-term or short-term and even specific or general

Answers:          (1) Budget          (2) Policy          (3) Mission          (4) Procedures          (5) Objectives

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