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The advantages of Planning are numerous. What is Planning? Planning is the process of making and carrying out plans. Planning can also be defined as the process of setting goals and actionable strategies to achieve the goals. Planning is a necessary trait to achieve one’s goals in life.
A famous saying says: “He who fails to plan, plan to fail.” Planning is vital to one’s success. Anyone that decides to plan must have a target. Planning is not looking at what we have achieved. Planning looks at what we can attain to be better.
Every organization, either small or big scale business, needs to plan. Every organization wants to increase its profit and reduce loss. That doesn’t happen overnight; it requires Planning.
The advantages of planning for individuals are crystal clear. Planning looks ahead into what, how, when, and why something is to be done. To achieve our goals and objectives, we need Planning. Planning is one of the functions of management. It bridges the gap between the present and the future.
Right from schooling days to the labor market, we need to plan. Take, for example, a student who doesn’t plan; it’s apparent what that student would get. Part of Planning is preparatory steps to counter hindrances that might happen in the future.
Advantages of Planning
Here are some Advantages of Planning:
1. Planning focuses on goals and objectives:
We are engaged with many things every day that distract us. Planning keeps us focused and goal-centered. Keeping our sight on our goals motivates us.
2. Planning gives us direction:
Planning directs our actions towards the desired outcome. Planning gives you a view of what you want and how to go about it. Having goals and targets is not only enough. Everyone wishes to become a billionaire – but not everyone is planning in that direction. Or it’s better to say not everyone is ready to give it what it takes. Planning draws our goals nearer to us and makes them more achievable.
3. Planning enhances motivation and commitment:
As earlier said, Planning draws our goals nearer to us. Our goals will remain goals only if we don’t plan. One of the steps to achieving our goal is planning. After drawing out plans, motivation comes. Motivation and commitment to our goals come when we plan.
4. Planning reduces uncertainty:
There are lots of delays both in the business world and in our engagements. Planning helps to reduce tensions. We know what is achievable and the risks attached. We understand clearly what we should expect and prepare for.
5. Planning facilitates coordination:
We know what to expect and what to put in place when we plan. Most people complain that there is not enough time to do the needful. The truth is that you have enough time to do what is essential. You don’t have to do everything – you have to do the necessary things.
6. Planning helps in setting priorities:
Without Planning, we will do lots of less important things. Planning helps us to set our preferences right. We know the things that need urgency and something that can come later. Time is money; if we don’t get our priorities right, we might not make any significant improvement.
7. Planning helps in setting standards:
To achieve our goals, we have measures that we must maintain. Again, let’s take a student, for example. Graduating with a first-class honor is the goal; students know that they cannot have some lesser grades. Therefore, setting standards to make the goal achievable. The same thing happens in the world; Planning guides us to give standard performances.
8. Planning allows flexibility:
When we plan, we are open to various options. We can have multiple plans directed at achieving our goals. We might not need to change the whole project at times if the initial plan is not working fine. It might only need a minor adjustment and tweaking of some parts of the program.
9. Planning boosts confidence:
Having different options to choose from puts us in control of any form of obstacle. We are confident that we can achieve our goals.
10. Better Decision Making:
Through Planning, we can compare options and alternatives to get the best decision. Planning helps get the most effective plan with the best approach, low cost, and better adaptive features.
Limitations to Planning
Planning is good if we want to achieve our goals in life, but there are some limitations to Planning.
1. Planning takes time:
Planning takes time; the more apparent the goal, the longer it takes to plan. In situations where quick decisions are needed, lots of Planning might not be applicable. When Planning takes a longer time, it prevents action.
2. Planning is costly:
In the collection of data samples, testing plans, prototype development, etc. It requires money. For a company, experts will be hired for proper analysis and recommendations. Apart from the salary they will pay these experts, the experts will need to carry out experiments – which the company will have to provide them with the necessary resources required. It is mainly advised that Planning should not be carried out – if the initial cost is more than the benefit or profit to be gained.
3. Resources might be wasted while planning:
Some plans won’t work, so spending time and resources on such projects is a waste.
4. Planning might not work in a dynamic environment:
For instance, in the business world where some big goons dictate the market’s flow, Planning might not be effective. Lately, cryptocurrency investors lamented the fall in the market. In such an environment, you learn to flow with the tide of the market.
5. Lack of accuracy:
In Planning, we make assumptions that are not 100% correct. We can only plan to meet up with the worst-case scenario. But some unbelievable cases can happen. For a start-up company with great development plans, we have to invest so much in purchasing gadgets and instruments. Then came a pandemic like COVID-19, which would ruin their plans. Or a 5% inflation has been predicted throughout the year in the worst-case scenario, but inflation rose by 15%. It will affect the project.
6. Inability to adapt to change:
Sometimes, switching from one plan to another is hard, especially after investing so much in the initial plan. Change is constant, and programs might be affected.
External limitations to Planning
Here are some External limitations to Planning:
Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, famine, etc. May affect one’s plans.
Plans may also fail with the constant technological change in the world.
-Change in government policy:
We don’t have power over policies made by the government. It can affect our plans. An example is planning on traveling to another country to seek greener pastures, but the government had just passed a bill that doesn’t allow immigrants from your country.
In addition, other limitations include sickness or unforeseen health expenses, inflation, change in taste of customers, change in competitors, etc.
Characteristics of Planning
Here are some Characteristics of Planning:
1. Planning is goal-oriented:
Planning is done to make goals achievable. Planning draws out plans that can lead to the desired outcome quickly. The goal is the first thing, then comes Planning. Without having a dream, you don’t have anything to plan for.
2. Planning is future-looking:
When planning, we don’t look at the ‘NOW’; we look into the future. In simple terms, we plan for the future. We don’t say we prepare for what has happened; we plan for the future. It involves predicting and analyzing future happenings.
3. Planning involves choices and decisions:
Planning opens us to various decisions and selections. The decisions we make are vital to the entire Planning. The resources available affect our choices and decisions.
4. Planning is continuous:
Planning is a constant process. Both short-term and long-term plans are subjected to review and evaluation. While the project is underway, Planning should continue as regards the new conditions known.
5. Planning is flexible:
Since we are not sure of what will happen in the future, Planning must be done to accommodate changes in the future. Plans can be revised and updated depending on the challenges faced.
6. Planning is designed for efficiency:
Getting the best route to achieving our goals at the minimum possible cost and avoiding wastage of resources is what Planning does. It helps in the better utilization of men, resources, funds, etc.
Here is some Planning Process:
-Have a goal:
Without having a destination, one would roam around aimlessly. Having a goal is the bedrock of Planning. When you don’t have a dream, you don’t have anything to plan for. Before you plan, have a goal.
-Evaluate your resources:
Before drawing out your plans, evaluate your resources—having this at the back of your mind will help you when making plans. You will not make plans that your resources won’t be able to finish.
You can have multiple plans that lead to your goals. Design and draw them out. Make achievable plans. Analyze all other alternatives to the project that you have.
-Choose the best plan:
Decide on which method you want to go with.
Execute the plan
Revise and re-evaluate the plan
Planning is essential to achieving one’s goal. The advantages of Planning cannot be overlooked due to its limitations. Therefore, we must choose our goals right and plan towards them because “He who fails to plan, plan to fail.”