Planning is highly essential for the successful functioning of any organization, big or small. Planning, in simple terms, involves drawing up a scheduled list of activities required to achieve a particular goal. In a company or even at home, a certain amount of planning helps you finish tasks successfully. But in an organization with a huge workforce and many hierarchical levels, planning is quintessential to meeting the organization’s objectives and targets.
Types of Planning in an Organization
- Strategic Planning
- Operational Planning
- Financial Planning
- Marketing Planning
- Proactive Planning
Strategic planning is the kind of planning that provides direction for the organization on how to proceed in the long run. The organization makes clear the strategy it intends on pursuing to achieve all of its targets, and allocates resources and takes action accordingly. In order to be able to devise the organization’s strategy, it is necessary that the organization knows where it stands in terms of its capital availability, its strengths and its weaknesses. Before devising a strategy, the organization also needs to be aware of the economic conditions, and other environmental factors, which can pose a threat, or provide opportunity for growth. The team at the head of the organization most often does strategic planning. After considering all factors, they devise the strategy that would best help the company meet its goals
While strategic planning looks at the organization’s growth in the long run, operational planning is more about tactical and short-term planning. This planning is essential to ensure that the organization is consistent in terms of its production and distribution of goods and services to the market. As operational planning is for short-term periods, it further helps in devising budgets for the organization. It provides a plan for the allocation of resources; and at the same time, it sheds light on the policy decisions of the organization.
Money matters. For the continued sustenance of anything, from a household to an organization, money is important. But things don’t end with just having enough money. Budgeting appropriately and planning on how to use the finance available are signs of a good organization. Financial planning in an organization deals with the preparation of a budget. A budget is a list of all the planned expenditures and revenues of an organization. In certain organizations, the budget is also sometimes referred to as the financial plan, which comprises of the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement. Financial planning implies estimating the expenses the organization will incur, and the revenues it hopes to earn.
Marketing is the way, by which companies promote themselves, their company, products and services, to gain the attention of the people. Marketing is done to make the organization visible in the eyes of the common man so as to garner interest in their business. Market planning is needed to achieve all the marketing targets and objectives. Marketing can be done for any aspect of the organization — their products, range of services, or even a brand they are launching. Most often, organizations have a separate marketing department, which is exclusively in-charge of carrying out marketing activities on behalf of the company.
Some organizations plan proactively. Proactive planning means to plan, in advance, for something that has not happened yet. By planning ahead of any event, the organization has more leverage and is armed better to deal with the situation whenever, and if, it arises. The event can be anything, from floods and earthquakes, to riots or strike by employees. Proactive planning follows the motto of, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
There are a number of other planning processes too that are used by organizations. Some of the others include long term planning, short term planning, reactive planning, formal and informal planning. However, the above-mentioned ones are most commonly followed by organizations. No matter what it is named, any kind of planning is absolutely essential for the growth and success of any organization.