Definitions Of Planning

In simple words, planning is deciding in advance what action to take, how and when to take a particular action, and who are the people to be involved in it. It involves anticipating the future and consciously choosing the future course of action.

According to Peter Drucker, “Planning is a continuous process of making present entrepreneurial decisions (risk taking) systematically and with best possible knowledge of their futurity, organizing systematically the efforts needed to carry out these decisions and measuring the result of those decisions against the expectations through an organized systematic feedback.”

In the words of George R. Terry, “Planning is the selecting and relating of facts and the making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formulation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.” Thus, while planning, a manager makes use of facts and reasonable premises and also considers the relevant constraints. The manager then decides what activities are needed, how they are to be carried out and how they would contribute to the achievement of the desired results.

Dalton E. McFarland’s definition of planning takes into account the dynamic nature of the environment. He defines planning as follows:

“Planning is a concept of executive function that embodies the skills of anticipating, influencing and controlling the nature and direction of change.”

According to Heinz Weihrich and Harold Koontz, “Planning involves selecting mission and objectives and the actions to achieve them; it requires decision-making that is, choosing from alternative future courses of action.” Thus, planning involves determining organizational objectives and deciding how best to achieve them. It involves looking ahead and relating today’s events with tomorrow’s possibilities.

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