Why is planning considered primary in management?

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Planning; a primary function of management

Why is planning considered primary in management? Planning is the process of developing a plan or course of action which can be used to organize and define the work, resources, people, and time required to achieve the goal. Planning helps ensure that the necessary activities are performed efficiently by allocating resources into an appropriate sequence. A strong plan ensures that all activities needed to reach a set outcome are accounted for, everything from budgets, costs, and scheduling for supplies and personnel.

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” – Sun Tzu

The planning process

Unlike the management process, the planning process is not cyclical and does not include feedback loops to ensure that the decisions made during the planning stage are sound. Unlike management, which involves decision-making on a day-to-day basis as actions are taken and results reviewed, planning is an evaluation of future action. The level of detail may vary based on how far into the future the plan is intended to reach and how complex it needs to be.

While planning is often seen as a process that extends into the future and is performed by individuals, it can be seen as an ongoing activity. However, there are many settings where the planning role extends to one or more individuals. For example, many businesses use budgeting to ensure they have all the resources needed to accomplish their goals. Some businesses may also allocate planning duties to individuals with specialized experience or knowledge. In either case, planning is a vital component of the management process and should not be overlooked.

To ensure appropriate planning is conducted, it is often necessary to develop a plan based on specific goals, objectives, and requirements. A comprehensive plan will include details about the work schedule, resources needed, timelines, and other elements responsible for assessing the organization’s overall needs and objectives.