Planning provides the framework within which organizing, staffing, direction and controlling are undertaken. The importance of planning in any organized cooperation needs no over emphasis.
More specifically, planning is useful because of its following contributions:
1. Planning Makes Personnel Conscious of Enterprise Objectives:
In any planning, the first stage is the deliberate statement of organizational objectives and departmental objectives. Such statement helps employees to see the organization in its entirety and see how their actions contribute to its ultimate goals. Since, objectives represent end points of planning, management should be aware of the future and revise its plans in the light of possible changes so that goals can be accomplished more effectively.
2. Efficient Planning Helps to Achieve Economy in Operations:
Planning is always done with an eye on economy and efficiency in operations. As an all-pervasive function, planning improves effectiveness of all other functions of management and also helps to secure coordinated efforts throughout the organization. Since, it involves choosing, planning facilitates choice of the best method and also helps identify alternatives expected to produce desired result with minimum risk.
3. Planning Precedes Control:
Control consists of those activities that are undertaken to force events to conform to plans. Planning is then the necessary prerequisite for control. Management’s function of control seeks to check the performance against some predetermined standard of the projected course of action established through the planning process.
4. Planning Provides for the Future:
Though forecasting is its essential characteristic, the task of planning does not end merely with assessing the future. Providing for future contingencies is an equally important part of planning. It is through planning process that the management is made to look to the future and discover suitable alternative course of action.
To the extent future changes can be correctly predicted, planning helps management to have a clear view of the future and chalk out a suitable programme of action. As a rational approach to the future, planning provides for unexpected events and arms the management against undesirable changes.
5. Planning Enhances Efficiency of Other Managerial Functions:
Planning, organizing, staffing, direction and control, all account for and have their due contribution to the accomplishment of group goals. Importance of each of them to the success of management job cannot be overlooked. However, planning as a primary function goes a long way in improving efficiency of other functions of management and makes the tasks of managing more effective.