Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans, that is, it combines forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them.

The term is also used to describe the formal procedures used in such an endeavor, such as the creation of documents diagrams, or meetings to discuss the important issues to be addressed, the objectives to be met, and the strategy to be followed. Beyond this, planning has a different meaning depending on the political or economic context in which it is used.

Two attitudes to planning need to be held in tension: on the one hand we need to be prepared for what may lie ahead, which may mean contingencies and flexible processes. On the other hand, our future is shaped by consequences of our own planning and actions.

* "Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." Patrick Dixon, author of Futurewise


;What should a plan be?A plan should be a realistic view of the expectations. Depending upon the activities, a plan can be long range, intermediate range or short range. It is the framework within which it must operate. For management seeking external support, the plan is the most important document and key to growth. Preparation of a comprehensive plan will not guarantee success, but lack of a sound plan will almost certainly ensure failure.

;Purpose of PlanJust as no two organizations are alike, so also their plans. It is therefore important to prepare a plan keeping in view the necessities of the enterprise. A plan is an important aspect of business. It serves the following three critical functions: Helps management to clarify, focus, and research their business's or project's development and prospects. Provides a considered and logical framework within which a business can develop and pursue business strategies over the next three to five years. Offers a benchmark against which actual performance can be measured and reviewed.

;Importance of the planning ProcessA plan can play a vital role in helping to avoid mistakes or recognize hidden opportunities. Preparing a satisfactory plan of the organization is essential. The planning process enables management to understand more clearly what they want to achieve, and how and when they can do it.

A well-prepared business plan demonstrates that the managers know the business and that they have thought through its development in terms of products, management, finances, and most importantly, markets and competition.

Planning helps in forecasting the future, makes the future visible to some extent. It bridges between where we are and where we want to go. Planning is looking ahead.

Types of Plans or Planning

*Business Plan
*Event Planning and Production
*Family Planning
*Financial Plan
*Land use Planning
*Lesson Plan
*Marketing Plan
*Network Resource Planning
*Strategic Planning

Planning basics

Essentials of planningPlanning is not done off hand. It is prepared after careful and extensive research. For a comprehensive business plan, management has to

# Clearly define the target / goal in writing.
## It should be set by a person having authority.
## The goal should be realistic.
## It should be specific.
## Acceptability
## Easily measurable
# Identify all the main issues which need to be addressed.
# Review past performance.
# Decide budgetary requirement.
# Focus on matters of strategic importance.
# What are requirements and how will they be met?
# What will be the likely length of the plan and its structure?
# Identify shortcomings in the concept and gaps.
# Strategies for implementation.
# Review periodically.


In organizations

Planning is also a management function, concerned with defining goals for future organizational performance and deciding on the tasks and resources to be used in order to attain those goals. To meet the goals, managers may develop plans such as a business plan or a marketing plan.Planning always has a purpose. The purpose may be achievement of certain goals or targets. The planning helps to achieve these goals or target by using the available time and resources. To minimize the timing and resources also require proper planning.

In public policy

Planning refers to the practice and the profession associated with the idea of planning an idea yourself, (land use planning, urban planning or spatial planning). In many countries, the operation of a town and country planning system is often referred to as 'planning' and the professionals which operate the system are known as 'planners'.......Planning: Planning is a process for accomplishing purpose. It is blue print of business growth and a road map of development. It helps in deciding objectives both in quantitative and qualitative terms. It is setting of goals on the basis of objectives and keeping in view the resources.

It is a conscious as well as sub-conscious activity. It is “an anticipatory decision making process ” that helps in coping with complexities. It is deciding future course of action from amongst alternatives. It is a process that involves making and evaluating each set of interrelated decisions. It is selection of missions, objectives and “ translation of knowledge into action.”

A planned performance brings better results compared to unplanned one. A Managers’ job is planning, monitoring and controlling. Planning and goal setting are important traits of an organization. It is done at all levels of the organization. Planning includes the plan, the thought process, action, and implementation.Planning gives more power over the future. Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who should do it. It bridges the gap from where the organization is to where it wants to be. The planning function involves establishing goals and arranging them in logical order.

See also

*Automated planning and scheduling
*Balanced scorecard
*Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR) (Supply chain management)
*Futures Studies
*Optimism bias
*Planning fallacy
*Project management
*Reference class forecasting
*Rolling forecast
*Time management
*Wicked problems


External links

* [ "Conservation planning and application"] , Handbook, Part 600, Subpart A - Framework for Planning.

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