Levels of planning
In management theory, it is usual to consider that there are three basic levels of planning, though in practice there may be more than three levels of management and to an extent, there will be some overlapping of planning operations. The theree levels of planning are discussed below:
- Top level planning: also known as overall or strategic planning, top level planning is done by the top management, i.e., board of directors or governing body. It encompasses the long-range objectives and policies or organisation and is concerned with corporate results rather than sectional objectives. Top level planning is entirely long-range and inextricably linked with long-term objectives. It might be called the ‘what’ of planning.
- Second level planning: also known as tactical planning, it is done by middle level managers or departmental heads. It is concerned with ‘how’ of planning. It deals with development of resources to the best advantage. It is concerned mainly, not exclusively, with long-range planning, but its nature is such that the time spans are usually shorter than those of strategic planning. This is because its attentions are usually devoted to the step-by-step attainment of the organisation’s main objective. It is, in fact, oriented to functions and departments rather than to the organisation as a whole.
- Third level planning: also known as operational or activity planning, it is the concern of departmental managers and supervisors. It is confined to putting into effect the tactical or departmental plans. It is usually for a short-term and may be revised quite often to be in tune with the tactical planning.