Explain the steps involved in the planning process

Explain the steps involved in the planning process.
What are the steps taken by management in the planning process?
Enumerate the steps involved in the process of planning.

  1. Setting Objectives
    Every organisation operates to achieve certain objectives. Objectives specify what the organisation wants to achieve. Therefore, the first step in planning is to define and describe clearly the objectives of the organisation and each department, or unit within the organisation. Once decided, these objectives should be communicated to all the units and employees.
  2. Developing Premises
    Planning is concerned with future, which is uncertain and every planner is using conjecture about what might happen in future.
    Therefore, the manager is required to make certain assumptions about future. These assumptions are known as premises. Premises are the base, upon which plans are drawn. They may be forecasts, existing plans or past information.
  3. Identifying Alternative Courses of Action
    Once the objectives and planning premises are established, it becomes necessary to discover the various courses of action, which may be used to achieve the established objectives.
    These alternatives may be routine or innovative. If the project is an important one, more alternatives should be identified.
  4. Evaluating Alternative Courses
    The next step is to weigh the pros and cons of each alternative. It is necessary to evaluate the positive and negative aspect of each alternative in the light of the objectives to be achieved.
    This might involve a number of calculations to measure the cost and benefits related to an alternative.
    5 Selecting an Alternative
    This is the real point of decision-making. The best plan has to be adopted and implemented. An ideal plan would be the one which is most profitable, most feasible and has the least negative consequences. Such judgement will depend upon the experience and intuition of the manager.
  5. Implementing the Plan
    This step is concerned with putting the plan into action and doing what is required. The managers start communicating the plans to employees and initiate them to carry out the activities according to the specifications of plans.
  6. Follow-up Action
    Planning is a continuous process, so the managers keep on following up the plans to see that activities are performed as per the schedule or not. Monitoring the plans is important to ensure achievement of objectives.