Question 2

What are the steps taken by management in the planning process?


Planning means to decide in advance what to do and how to do. It is an activity which follows certain logical steps.

1. Setting objectives: Every organization works to achieve some objectives. So the first step of the planning is to define and describe the objectives of the organization. And once the objective is decided then these objectives should be communicated to all the units and employees.

2. Developing premises: Planning is concerned with the future, which is uncertain and every manager assumes about what might happen in future. Therefore the manager is required to make certain assumptions about the future. And 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 will be used to achieve the established objectives and the must know all the alternatives to achieve the objectives.

4. Evaluating alternative courses: After that the next step is to analyze the pro and cons of each alternative. It is important to evaluate the negative and positive aspect of each alternative to achieve the objectives. It involves a number of calculations to measure the cost and benefits related to an alternative.

5. Selecting an alternative: After evaluating the alternative course the next step is to selecting an alternative. And this is the real point of decision-making. The best plan has to be adopted and implemented. An ideal plan should be the one which is most profitable, most feasible and has least negative consequences.

6. Implementing the plan: The main role of this step is to put the plan into action and do what is required. And then the managers start to communicate the plans to the employees and initiate them to carry out the activities according to the specifications of plans.

7. Follow-up action: Since, planning is the continuous process so the managers keep on following up the plans to ensure that all the activities should be performed as per the schedule. Monitoring the plan is important to ensure achievement of objectives.

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