Features or Nature of Planning
1 Planning is goal oriented: organization are set up with a general purpose in view. Specific goals are set out in the plans along with the activities to be under taken to achieve the goals. Thus planning is purposeful. Planning has no meaning unless it contributes to the achievement of pre determined organizational goals.
2 Planning is a primary function: planning lays down the base for other functions of management. All other managerial functions are performed within the frame work of plans drawn. Thus planning precedes other functions. This is also referred to as the primacy of planning. The various functions of management are interrelated and equally important. However planning provides the basis of all other functions.
3 Planning is pervasive: planning is required at all levels of management as well as in all departments of the organization. It is not an exclusive function of top management or of any particular department. But the scope of planning differs at different levels and among different department.
4 planning are flexible: plans are drawn on the basis of forecasts. Since the future is uncertain. Planning must cope with changes in future conditions. Activities planned with certain assumptions about the future may not come true. Under the circumvents the original plan of action must be revised in the light of changing conditions.
5 planning are continuous: Plans are prepared for a specific period of time may be for a month a quarter or a year. At the end of that period there is need for a new plan to be drawn on the basis of new requirements and future conditions. Hence planning is a never ending activity. It is a continuous process.
6 Planning is futuristic: planning essentially involves looking ahead and preparing for the future. The purpose of planning is to meet future events effectively to the best advantage of an organization. It implies peeping into the future analyzing it and predicting it. Planning is therefore regarded as a forward looking function based on fore casting. Through forecasting future events and conditions are anticipated and plans are drawn accordingly.
7 Planning involve choice: Planning essentially involves choice from among various alternatives and activities. If there is one possible goal or only one possible course of action there is no need for planning because there is no choice. The need for planning arises only when alternatives are available. In actual practice planning presupposes the existence of alternatives.
8 Planning is a mental exercise: planning are requires application of the mind involving foresight intelligent imagination and should judgement. It is basically an intellectual activity of thinking rather than doing because planning determines the action to be taken. However thinking for planning requires logical and systematic thinking rather than guessing or wishful thinking.