How to make planning effective
While it is true that the planning suffers from several limitations, an organization cannot do without planning. The following steps should go a long way in overcoming these limitations and making planning effective:
Creation of suitable organization systems: management should consciously create an organizational system that facilitates planning. All the known hurdles to planning should be removed and the managers at every level should be encouraged and given necessary facilities to plan their goals with active participation of the workers.
Involvement of top management: to be meaningful, the planning process ought to be initiated by the top management. Long -term strategic planning for the organization as a whole should be done at this level only, and on the basis of this department or sub -departmental level planning should be undertaken by the middle and supervisory management.
Wide participation: while long term planning for the organization as a whole should be undertaken by the top management, it can be given a concrete workable shape only by the managers at lower levels. In fact, the most effective way of the planning is where every manager is granted freedom to plan in respect of his area of activities. Participation by the subordinates may be made possible through various ways, such as (a) management by managers and workers together; (b) formation of the planning committees at various levels which may be made responsible for providing planning information, inviting suggestions and reactions from subordinate managers in respect of the planning efforts, and formulation of plans (c) grass -root budgeting, under which every unit within the organization prepares its own performance budget which is sent up to higher levels for its in cooperation in the overall budget.
Effective communication of planning information: the organization should have an effective network to communicate all the information that is relevant to planning of the goals at every level. This should include specific and clear information regarding resource availability, organizational policies, strategies, and so on.
Integration of long term and short term plans: short term plans of an organization should together contribute to the accomplishment of its long term plans. Therefore, the two should be effectively integrated, rather than seen as being unconnected with one another.
Flexibility: planning must take into account and provide for unforeseen factors. As such, each plan should be flexible enough to be modified and altered in the light of new developments. To this end, alternatives plans and contingency strategies should be formulated in advance.