To understand Management principle, we need to first understand what Management is. It is the coordination and administration of tasks to achieve a goal. Such administrative activities include setting strategy and coordinating efforts of others to accomplish the set goals / objectives through the application of available resources. Management can also be defined as a single or group of individuals who challenge and oversee a person or collective group of people in efforts to accomplish desired goals or objectives. At the most fundamental levels, Management is a discipline that consists of a set of functions/principles- planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling.
Hence, it is an error to think that management is only for those who studied management in high schools. At one point in time, everyone is engaged in management. It may interest you to know that management is in all spheres of life. To get it right like most there are principles that guide it and one key Management principle is PLANNING.
Planning is an intellectual process which lays down an organization’s or individual’s objectives and develop various courses of action by which the organization or an individual can achieve those objectives. It chalks out exactly how to attain a specific goal.
Planning basically involves deciding beforehand, What is to be done, When is it to be done, How is it to be done, Who is going to do it. It is nothing but thinking before the action takes place. It helps one to take a peep into the future and decide in advance the way to deal with the situation which we are going to encounter in the future.
Characteristics of Planning:
- Decision Making.
- Goal Oriented
- Continuous Activity.
- Intellectual Process
Importance of Planning
- It helps to improve future performance, by establishing objectives and selecting a course of action, for the benefit of the organization.
- It minimizes risk and uncertainty, by looking ahead into the future.
- It facilitates the coordination of activities. Thus, reduces overlapping among activities and eliminates unproductive work.
- It states in advance, what should be done in future, so it provides direction for action.
- It uncovers and identifies future opportunities and threats.
- It sets out standards for controlling. It compares actual performance with the standard performance and efforts are made to correct the same.
Whenever you are engaged in any of the fundamental principles above having the listed characteristics as well, you are a manager of either yourself, family, career, business, organization etc. You can also read about another key management principle here.