16 Principles of Planning Function of Management

Principles of Planning

Planning principles are guidelines for formulating effective plans and implementing them. They guide managers on how they should make plans and implement them in order to achieve the desired goals efficiently.

Planning is an essential tool for organizational success and goal achievement. It is the basic and most significant management function. Planning needs to be effective, and for its effectiveness, certain principles are required to follow.

Let’s discuss some principles of planning function by which you can make better plans.

Principle of Contribution to Objectives

Just remember when you make some plans to do something, your plans are always aimed at achieving your desired goals. Aren’t they?

The main objective of the planning is to set goals and select courses of action to achieve them. According to the first principle of planning, it should contribute to the achievement of desired goals and objectives.

Contribution of objectives states that plans must be goal-focused and should positively contribute toward the achievement of organizational goals.

Principles of Management Interest

The future of the organization is in the hands of executives or top managers. They should be interested genuinely in the prosperity of the firm.

Their positive attitude and contribution to the organization have a great impact. This principle states that managers should genuinely invest their interests and expertise in designing effective plans. Should be disciplined in planning and inspire subordinate managers too to submit their genuine interests.

Related: Types of Plan

Principle of Premises

Assumptions concerning expected future events are known as premises. The plans are developed and put into action based on such presumptions.

The presumptions might be related to shifting market dynamics, shifting consumer preferences, escalating rivalry, the availability of resources inside your firm, socioeconomic conditions, etc. By this premise principle, the future likely events should be forecasted and analyzed and the plans should be well prepared for such events.

Principle of Primacy

Planning is the primary and most important function of management. All managers should first focus on developing plans and then they should proceed with other functions.

Planning gives proper direction to other functions and without it the operations and performance of the firm become inefficient. Thus, primacy states you should make a plan first and organize other functions in a way that ensures the achievement of goals addressed in planning.

Principle of Efficiency

An effective plan ensures the proper direction in other organizational activities. One of the objectives of planning is to bring economy and efficiency to a firm’s operations.

By the efficiency principle, the planning should be done in a way that ensures the achievement of the result with minimum cost and effort. For this, it is essential you should effectively communicate plans to all members, and provide the necessary guidance and resources so that they do it more efficiently.

Principle of Flexibility

It is obvious that the business environment today is that flexible (dynamic) as such it is impossible to forecast future events with a hundred percent accuracy.

By the flexibility principle, the plan should be flexible enough to cope with environmental changes. The changes in environmental factors like political factors, consumer demands, rival strategies, etc. are obvious.

Such situations force plans to revise, modify, and replace as it states the plan should not be made based on one likely condition. Instead, it should be capable of embracing various likely environmental changes.

Related: Characteristics of Planning

Principle of Navigational Change

Only making plans does not ensure the attainment of the goal, they need to be implemented. But implementation still does not guarantee successive results.

So this navigational change principle states that you should continuously monitor changes during the course of implementation and if necessary bring changes for effective execution. Continuous reviewing and taking corrective actions should be taken.

Principle of Commitment

By this commitment principle of planning, when you make a plan it should reflect the time period within which it would be achieved. This principle states the planning should also be time-specific.

Therefore, the plan should specify a time period within which the promises made in the plan must be kept. The management and other levels of management and employees can meet their goals on schedule because of this commitment.

Principle of Timing

The principle of timing emphasizes ensuring the time hierarchy in the implementation of plans. It states which plan (activity) should be done first and which one later should be specified.

The main plans and sub-plans should be designed based on time hierarchy. It helps employees to choose activities in which they give more emphasis-finish on time and vice versa.

Principle of Pervasive

Planning is pervasive in nature and required by all levels of managers. This principle states all levels of managers should be involved in planning.

Planning should be in accordance with the needs of all manager levels. To this principle, making plans is not the only responsibility of top managers, it is required of all managers, and the effectiveness will increase if all make collectively.

Principle of Alternatives

Basically, planning is a choice of alternatives. If there is only one way of doing something, there is no need for planning. The essence of planning is based on the selection of the best option.

This principle states that, like principles of decision-making, the planning should also include the selection of the best one from the pool of options.

Before making a choice, you should identify options analyze them carefully, and choose the best one that has a higher potential to guarantee effective and efficient goal accomplishment.

Related: The 14 Principles of Management

Principle of Limiting Factor

Your business might not have an abundance of all the resources that are essential to effectively achieve desired goals. Some might be more but not so essential in goal achievement, some might be less but essential for effective performance, and so forth.

Accordingly, you should pay careful attention to any restricting factors that can prevent you from achieving your goals effectively. Your focus should be on a component that, although being expensive, limited in supply, or scarce, significantly affects performance.

Principle of Comparative Strategies

Today’s market is a competitive market. Thus, the principle of comparative strategies states that while making plans you should also consider the strategies of competitors.

It helps in being competitive and getting the profits from competitors’ hands. In addition, this principle ensures success in a competitive environment.

Principle of Cooperation

An organization is a system of people. This principle states that all members of the organization should cooperatively contribute to plan development. It assumes success is achieved when the whole members of the organization work together.

Cooperation in planning also reduces the confusion and unnecessary hurdles of all members and promotes efficient execution.

Principle of Long-Range View

Planning is a future-oriented activity. By long range view principle, while making plans you should also consider the future impacts of such plans. The plans should be made only after analyzing available data and their likely impacts on the future performance of the organization.

Principle of Acceptance

After long hours you made a plan and what if no one accepts your plan? Hence, the last principle of planning states that the plan should be acceptable and understandable to all members of your business.

From the list of principles of planning, the principle of acceptance is the last. The accepted plans are likely to motivate employees and give successful implementation.

You should be able to make acceptable plans as well as convince employees to attain the goals or objectives. By reducing the employees ‘ uncertainties and misunderstandings about the plans as well as their hesitations and anxiety about the implications of plans for the fulfillment of their own objectives, communication also plays a significant role in helping the employee recognize and accept the plans.

Read Next: Principles of Directing

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