In this essay there is in-depth discussion about the function on planning. The importance of planning, and why it is required in every managerial activity is brought out by this essay. The nature and is effects on the other managerial functions. The various situations and problems faced if planning fails. 2. The importance of planning in the modern world: In the dynamic environment of the modern world, time is considered as money. One needs to be at the right place at the right time in order to gain maximum benefit from time. New age has brought along with it innumerable life-changing opportunities.
There are many who understand the delicacy of the nature of opportunities offered by time and manage to gain their share and on the contrary, there are many who can not avail the opportunities the developing modern world has to offer merely because of an unplanned and distorted approach toward time management. World in the present age is so rich methodologically that one task can be done in a number of ways. However, in order to be successful, it is imperative that one chooses the right course of action among the variety of ways in which a task can be done.
Hence effective and appropriate time management is the key to success, and planning is undoubtedly the fundamental prerequisite and can be considered as the soul of time management. However, the function of planning is not complete until the goals are achieved. This paper analyzes the nature and function of planning with an emphasis on its functionality toward the achievement of the organization’s goal. 4 3. Nature and functions of planning: Planning can be defined as: “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it.
Planning bridges the gap between where we are to, where we want to go. It makes Possible things to occur which would not otherwise occur”. (Koontz & O’Donell, cited in www. managementstudyguide. com, 2009). The process of planning is systematic in nature and it is imperative that the planner has a mission and a vision prior to starting the process of planning. Planning answers three basic questions fundamental to the accurate cost and time estimation involved in a project. The three questions are, “who does what? , when is it done? , and how is it done? ”.
All an estimator needs to know is the right answer to these three questions in order to develop a schedule on which the whole project would be based. It is a very basic function of the overall management. “Without adequate planning, the management process fails and organizational needs and objectives cannot be met”. (Marquis and Huston, 2009,p. 140). It is often said that “Well planned is half done”. (Purho, 2004). In order to analyze the functionality of a plan in the context of a project or other matters of daily life, it would be rational to have a deep insight into the nature of planning.
According to (Ward and Morris, 2004), the ideal approach should be that a plan needs to be wholesome in nature in that contents should be structured in such a way that they reveal how the goals can be achieved, and it should be efficient so as to evaluate and estimate the thoughts and actions that form a part of the plan and also, a plan should be easy and foolproof with easy to remember instructions that reduce the chances of anything going false. Comparing the five 5
Functions of management namely the planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling, (Erven, n. d. ) refers to planning as the fundamental function of management from which the rest of the four functions offshoot. (Pride et al, 2010, p. 169) argue that planning is frequently termed As the “first” management function because it decides the course of action for all other managerial functions. Planning is unique in its nature irrespective of whether it is being conducted for some matter of daily life or a business project.
It is affected by various social, political and environmental factors that are related one way or the other with the matter being planned. Same work done in different situations may require different courses of action. Likewise, every project is unique in its nature that is why it is called a project. The repetitive work is called a process instead of a project. But if some sort of planning leads a project to a stage where it cannot find any way ahead, then it means that the planning has not performed its function.
It would not be rational to state that people are not aware of the importance of planning. These days, a lot of emphasis is placed upon proper planning of the project prior to the actual execution in various industries in general and in the Construction industry in particular. Analyzing the failures of the past that took place because of a lack of a preplanned approach toward the execution of the project, owners impart a lot of value and importance to adopting a rational approach toward planning their course of action for the project.
A lot of corporations spend a considerable sum of their total budget just for the sake of planning their work on the project. Many companies are doing good business and making a lot of money just by offering planning services on others’ projects. In fact, with the rapid advancement in the fields of science and technology, organizations evaluate every hour that passes to analyze how much they have been justified in their approach toward the achievement of their goals in the hour that is gone. 6
This becomes necessary because planning stays as a baseline that needs to be followed throughout the life of the project. Every project runs according to a schedule and every schedule materializes the approach worked out in the phase of planning. Thus planning serves as a guideline and in order for a project to be successful, it is imperative that the same ideology is maintained throughout the life of the project as was designed in the initial stages of the project, though the plans need to be continuously modified as per the rising demands of the situations.
Such a planning is referred to as Continuous planning as identified in (Cox and Veloso, n. d. , p. 1). “Continuous planning refers to the process of planning in a world under continual change. ” (Cox and Veloso, n. d. ). Critiques view the concept of continuous planning as detrimental to the overall theme of a project and support the idea that same plan should be maintained throughout the duration of the project which is not quite rational.
The demands and environment of a project keeps changing over time and calls for a modification in the originally designed plan in order for the plan to conform to the change that occurred in the demands. There are two basic goals of any organization when it undergoes a project. The first goal is to finish the project in time, and the second goal is to finish the project remaining within a certain cost limit so as to ensure the earning of profit.
But there have been cases in the history where projects could not ensure their completion on the time stipulated in the contract documents, although the work has conformed to the schedules designed on the basis of planning. Or else, even if the managers have ensured the completion of project as per the closing date scheduled, they have not been able to make profits because of cost overruns. It so happens because of several reasons. The reasons include but are not limited to a change in the scope of the project, a change in the political environment of the area in which the project is being executed, a change in the specifications required by the client, or bad estimation of project scope and methodology on the part of the estimator in the start of the project. Irrespective of whatever the reason behind the missing of goals may be, planning should, in the first place, considering the importance of role in the project, is strong enough to estimate all potential hazards, possible reasons of delay, and a change in the political environment that a project is likely to encounter during the course of its execution.
One big reason why owners fail to earn profit through the project even when the circumstances remained favourable is that the course of action chosen for that project was not right in the first place, or else, was not even modified in an attempt to make it suitable for the project. “In order for the plan to be effective, team members must have a large say in its construction. ” (Freedman, 2010).
However, since in the start of the project, when nothing about the project has actually materialized except for the intention of the owner to build a project, it is practically not possible to realize all potential hazards a project might come across when started, because all planning is carried out on the basis of estimation considering the case history of past projects of similar nature conducted in the same area. The functionality of planning can be looked at from another perspective besides planning in projects.
Since the past few decades, realizing the importance of planning, governments in many developing countries have enforced family planning policies in order to gain a firm control over enlarging populations that appear as a threat to their respective economies. Many countries have placed a huge emphasis on family planning in order to control the rapidly growing population. “To control rapid growth in the population growth and to ensure quality of life, ‘Family Planning’, is one of China’s basic state policies, since 1978”. (www. travelchinaguide. com, 2010).
The way China planned a wholesome approach 8 toward reducing poverty has been successful and China has managed to achieve her goals as is evident from the fact that, “Since 1978, China has accelerated development and reduced its population living in “absolute poverty” from 250 million to 15 million, according to a new report submitted by the Chinese government”. (Deen, 2009). Hence, family planning in China is one such example where the functions of planning are completed. This shows how important role the function of planning has played in improving the economic health of China.
Thus it can be rightly argued that the function of China’s approach toward planning has completed as she managed to achieve her desired goals. 4. Conclusion: Unfortunately, there have been a lot of cases in the past in which the organizations could not realize the importance of employing Continuous planning in their projects. Instead they kept stuck to the plans adopted in old projects of similar nature and suffered huge financial losses as a result of having lost their approach that they adopted toward the execution of project in the first place.
Nothing in this world is useful if it is not purposeful and a planning that does not facilitate the owners in achieving their goals is meaningless and does to do justice to its role in the course of a project. But the unfortunate part of the whole argument is that since planning is one of the very initial steps in the life of a project, its effectiveness cannot be predicted with accuracy unless it proves a failure due to the losses incurred with the passage of time.
However, when an organization fails to achieve its objectives and does not manage to reach the goals it had set in the beginning, there must have been flaws in the general functions of management i. e. either planning itself or the other four functions of management that are based upon the function of 9 planning i. e. organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. Basically, to plan is undoubtedly always a good approach, but there is no use planning if one does not put in all the extra effort that is required to materialize that planning.
In such cases, it can be rightly argued that the functions of planning are not complete unless goals are achieved. Achievement of goals is linked with sound and sufficient work progress, which is based upon a solid course of action that surfaces as a result of planning, and the planning cannot be done without a sound knowledge of objectives and goals to be achieved. Thus, goals cannot be achieved unless they are envisioned prior to planning.
10 5. List Of References Chinese People. (2010) Retrieved from http://www. ravelchinaguide. com/faq/. Cox, M. T. and Veloso, M. M. , (n. d. ) Goal Transformations in Continuous Planning. Retrieved from http://www. cs. cmu. edu/~mmv/papers/aaai-fs98b. pdf. Deen, T. (2009). India, China Fight Poverty, Population Growth. Retrieved from http://ipsnews. net/news. asp? idnews=47652. Erven, B. L. , Planning. Retrieved from http://www. ag. ohio-state. edu/~mgtexcel/Planning. html. Freedman, T. , (2010). Managing Change: The Importance of Planning. Retrieved from http://www. ctineducation. org/home-page/2010/4/17/managing-change-the-importance-of-planning. html. Marquis, B. L. and Huston, C. J. (2009). Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing: Theory and Application. US: Lippincott Williams ; Wilkins. 6th Edition. Planning Function of Management. (2009). Retrieved from http://www. managementstudyguide. com/planning_function. htm. Pride, W. M. , Hughes, R. J. and Kapoor, J. R. , (2010). Business. USA: South-Western Cengage Learning. Retrieved from [Google books].