Planning is a decision making process. It helps one to decide on what to do and how to do it. There are six steps to follow when planning. First and foremost, one has to analyze the situation. Two constraints are very important at this stage and they are time and resources. Gathering of information and interpreting is done at this stage.
Also, a summary of all the relevant information is done. Identification and diagnosing planning assumptions is done. In addition issues and problems are identified. The second step is having alternative goals and plans. Alternative goals that can be implemented later are provided. It also gives plans used to implement the goals. Thirdly, evaluation of goals and plans is done.
Advantages and disadvantages on alternative goals and plans are evaluated. Also, the possible effects of the goals and plans are evaluated at this stage. Fourthly, selection of the goals and plans is carried out. The most appropriate and feasible goals and plans are selected. Right judgment is crucial at this stage. In the fifth step, implementation of the designed plans takes place. This helps one to achieve the set goals. To implement a plan, the manager must understand it well.
Also, resources to implement the plan must be available. Finally, monitoring and controlling are important. These help one to know whether his/ her plan is succeeding. Continuous monitoring of the actual performance against unit’s goal should be done. Implementation is the most important step in planning. The reason behind this is that implementation of plans helps in achieving the set goals (Darlkir, 7).
There are three types of plans that can be used in different organizations. These include, single used plans, standing plan, and contingency plan. Single-use plans are used in activities that are done only once. They are one time-time use plans. They also have specific goals.
They may be used for duration of few days. In addition, they may last for a number of years. Projects and programs are good examples of single-use plans. Also, budgets can be considered as single-use plans. The activities involved are like the special sales program.
Programs cover ‘who’ and ‘what’ in an activity. It also covers ‘where’, and ‘how’ the activity will be done (Ingram, para.3). Standing plans are applied in activities that take a long time to complete. In some cases it might be indefinite time. They can be adjusted so as to cater for the changing situations. Mostly they are created from information from different sources over a longer period. They also cover several departments in an organization.
Examples of standing plans are policies, a procedure and rules (Ingram, para.4). Contingency plans are meant for specific situations. This is incase things don’t move as expected. Contingency planning involves flexibility and adaptation. Also, mastery is needed due to the changing conditions.
They include planning for marketing. The reason behind is to get support from the stakeholders. In addition, they allow for understanding from the stakeholders (Ingram, para.5). In our organization we usually use standing plan. The reason behind is that we usually deal with activities that need much time before completion. Also, in our organization we have many different departments where this kind of planning is more applicable.
From the above literature, I have been able to learn that planning is one of the key aspects in any organization. Implementation of a plan is one of the most important steps in any planning. Implementation helps in achieving the already set goals. Without the implementation of a plan, the other work done during the planning process will be of no importance. Different plans can be applied in different organizations. The kind of plan to be used depends on the type of activities taking places in an organization.
Darlkir, Kimiz. Knowledge management in theory and practice. New York: Technology partner. 2011. Print.
Ingram, David. Define single use, contingency & standing plans for business. January 26, 2011. April 22, 2011.