Relationship between Planning and Control

We already know that planning and controlling are both two important functions of management. However, did you know these two are actually part of one integral function? Let us learn more about the relationship between planning and control.

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Relationship between Planning and Control

Planning and control are the two sides of the same coin. They are in fact parts of one integral function and it can be quite difficult to separate the two.

This means that we cannot tell when the planning function ends and the control functions begin.

Planning sets the philosophy and the guidelines on which the company operates. And controlling ensures that the activities of the firm conform to these plans, goals, objectives etc.

So while planning sets the course of the firm, control will observe the deviations from such a course and try and take remedial actions to correct the course. In practicality, planning and control are interdependent.

Relationship between Planning and Control

Browse more Topics under Controlling

Let us take a look at some points that better explain the relationship between planning and control.


1] Planning originates Control

Planning is the most basic function of a firm. It decides what is to be done, who will do it when it will be done etc. The aim of planning is to bridge the gap between where the firm is and where it wishes to be.

Control on the other hand only starts after planning. It is basically controlling that all activities are going according to the plan. So without planning there is no need for control.

Learn more about Principles of Control here in detail

2] Controlling sustains Planning

Another important point of the relationship between planning and control is that it is a two-way street. While planning originates control, control will help sustain the planning function. It directs the course of planning and points out the areas where further planning is necessary.

3] They are Interdependent and Interlinked

Planning and control are actually part of one integral function. So they always co-exist as one larger function.

Controlling actually involves comparing actual performance with the plans, and without any plans, it will be unable to do so. Without a yardstick for comparison, there is no point of the control function.

Similarly, planning is also dependent on the control function. Planning is only done on paper, it has to be translated into actions.

And it is controlling by managers that ensure that these plans are implemented correctly and produce the desired results.

Hence the relationship between planning and control is that of interdependence. For example, the workers made 800 units in one day.

Is this a good statistic? The only way we can compare is if a plan and standards are in place. Say if the standard is 900 units, then the managers step in to correct this deviation from the standard. This is the control function.

4] Both are Forward-Looking Functions

Both planning and control are concerned with the future activities of the firm. Planning is always done for the future. And control too is a forward-looking activity.

The past cannot be changed or controlled, we can only focus on controlling the future. It is the objective of both these functions to combine and achieve the business objectives and goals of the firm.

Question on Relationship between Planning and Control

Q: ______ provides the information for planning.

  1. control
  2. direction
  3. coordination
  4. none of the above

Ans: The correct answer is A. Planning and control are very interlinked and interdependent functions of management. The information collected during the control function provides the basis of planning the future actions of the firm.

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