Objective:It refers to the desired future positions that an organisation seeks to reach. They are the ‘ends’ of managerial activity i.e. the end result of activities.
They are framed by the top management and accordingly objectives are set for different departments and units. Objectives should be set in specific, quantitative terms, in the form of a written statement of desired results, to be achieved within a given time period. These provide the base for controlling the activities, e.g. increase in sales by 10%, increase in profits by 15%, etc.
Procedure:It describes the exact manner, in which a certain activity is to be performed. It is a chronological sequence of steps to be taken. They are designed to execute policies and achieve objectives. These also come under the standing plan as it prescribes ways to handle routine problems.
They are usually meant for insiders to follow, e.g. procedure of selection of employees, procedure of issuing materials from stores, etc.
Method: It provides the prescribed ways or manner, in which a task has to be performed considering the objectives. They are formalised and standardised ways of accomplishing repetitive and routine jobs, thus, are considered under the standing plan.
It deals with a task which may be a step of a procedure and specifies how a step is to be performed, e.g. methods of training, methods of recruitment, etc.
Rule:They are specific statements that inform what is to be done. There is no discretion allowed in rules. They must be followed stricdy and one cannot make any changes in them. Rules are the simplest type of plans because there is no change or compromise in following them.