Advantages of Planning
Planning is an important per-requisite for attaining the cherished goals of a business enterprise. Of all the managerial activities, it comes first because of the following benefits:
1. Planning leads to more effective and faster achievements in any organization.
2. Since planning foresees the future and also makes a provision for it, it gives an added strength to the business for its steady growth and continuous prosperity.
3. It secure unity of purpose, direction and effort by focusing attention on the objectives. Hence, unnecessary duplication, overlapping and cross-purpose workings are eliminated.
4. It has the effect of minimizing the cost of operations.
5. It ensures an even flow of work, minimizes false steps and protects against unwanted deviations.
6. It enhances the efficiency of other managerial functions.
7. It provides an effective basis for control in all organizations whether small or big.
8. It facilitates the process of decision-making.
9. It enables the management to implement future programmes in a systematic way so that the management may get the maximum benefit out of the programmes framed. It enables all the activities to be conducted in an orderly and coordinated manner in order to achieve the common goals of the enterprise.
10. With the rapid growth of technological development, it is essential for a manager to keep abreast of the up-to-date technology. Otherwise, the products are likely to become obsolete. Planning helps in this process.
11. By avoiding waste of men, money, materials and machinery, planning indirectly leads to large-scale economies.
12. Planning encourages the sense of involvement and team spirit. Planned targets provide a basis upon which good performances can be rewarded and poor performances can be improved.
13. Planning is the essence of all management activities. Once it is. done well, other activities automatically follow.
14. It educates people. It orients people. It gives them a sense of direction and the stimulating feeling that their efforts are being put to useful purpose, rather than being wasted. They begin to feel that they are worthy partners in a productive enterprise.
Disadvantages or Limitations of Planning
Planning aims at forecasting and providing a means for examining the future and drawing up a plan of action. The very purpose of planning is to develop creative and innovative policies to guide company’s activities in the market place. This is not an easy task. There are many obstacles in the path leading to successful planning. They are:
1. Accuracy of facts and information about the future is one of the limitations of planning.
According to Terry,
“no manager can predict completely and accurately the events of the future”.
Managerial planning can be made accurately only if the events in future are predicted accurately. Often adequate facts may not be available.
2. Time, money and effort are required in the collection and analysis of data and in the formulation and revision of plans. It is a time consuming process. It is an expensive process. Planning is useful only when the expected gains from it exceed its costs. Often it is remarked that the cost of planning is in excess of its actual contribution.
3. Planning takes time i.e., adequate time. Sometimes, it may cause delay in taking decisions. A manager may be bogged down by procedures, rules, etc., when quick decision is essential.
4. Planning may create a false opinion that all problems will be solved if the plans are implemented. In practice, management has to revise the plans continuously and check on their execution.
5. Another major limitation of planning is that there are various alternatives to combat certain problems. Every alternative has its own merits and limitations. Every alternative presents different results also. In this way, diversity of alternatives cause many difficulties in the way of formulating planning.
6. The effectiveness of planning may be greatly influenced by external forces, the controllability of which is not in the hands of planners. Government control, natural calamities, etc., may create hurdles in the implementation of managerial plans.
7 It makes the entire organizational set up extremely rigid.
8 It leads to probable results and not assured goals.
9. Machinery of planning cannot be free from bias. Forecasting methods, statistical data supplied, etc., are all inaccurate and the results of operation research cannot be applied to all cases that come under planning.
10 In the planning process, the quality of the output depends upon the quality of input.
11. Tendency towards inflexibility or reluctance to change, is another drawback of planning.
12 It encourages a false sense of security against risk of uncertainty.
13. Standing plans demand repetitive operations, but in the absence of such operations, plans lose their significance.
In spite of the serious limitations, planning is still recognized as the foremost function of the management. It is no doubt that unplanned operations shall produce chaos and disorder everywhere without exception.
How to avoid the failure of planning?
In order to avoid the failure of planning, the following suggestions should be kept in mind:
1. Avoid serial planning if possible,
2. Do not wait to start the second stage of planning until the first stage is finished,
3. Try to have parallel planning with lots of cross-checking, and
4. See that all plans move in the forward direction at the same time.