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Nature of Planning (Characteristics or features of planning)
The following are the essential characteristics of planning:
1. Planning is a primary function of management
The functions of management are planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling. Planning is the first function in all levels of management and is involved in all management functions. So it is called as an essence of management.
2. Planning focuses on goals
Planning is a process to determine the goal of the organisation. It lays down the ways to achieve the goals, in the most effective and efficient manner. It safeguard the business against idle time loss, loss due to surplus labour etc.
3. Planning is a function of all managers
Planning is done by all levels of managers. Top level managers prepare long term plans for the business as whole, middle level managers prepare departmental plans. Lower level managers prepare to carry out the daily routine work.
4. Planning is an intellectual process Planning is a mental work; it is concerned with thinking before doing. It is an intellectual process, so it involves creative thinking and imagination
5. Planning is a continuous process Planning is a continuous process and has no end. As far as business is concerned, planning, is needed as long as there are business activities. Once a plan period ends the next plan period starts. Thus planning is considered as continuous process.
6. Planning is future- oriented
Planning is required to attain the future goals of an organisation, keeping past happening as basis for plans. Future is uncertain so the plan must be suitable to meet any changes (ie) fluctuating demand, unavailability of raw material , changes in government rules etc.
7. Planning involves Decision- Making
Planning helps to make certain alternatives and to select the best out of the alternatives considering men, money, machines and materials.
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