Planning is a major function of management. Planning may be the most important of all management functions. Planning involves a six-step process that assists an organization in setting goals and determining how to accomplish them best (Allen, 1998). “Effective planning helps an organization adapt to change by identifying opportunities and avoiding problems. It sets the direction for the other functions of management and for teamwork” (Allen, 1988, ¶ 1). In order to operate in an efficient and effective manner and to progress with focus and direction, an organization must set goals and develop plans to achieve those goals (Erven, 1999). All management levels participate in planning; the characteristics of planning are varied according to the level of management (Erven, 1999). Often, managers must implement new strategic plans in order to comply with recent legislation such as the case with the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Managers must plan to determine the goals of the organization and direct the course of actions for the future; planning gives an organization its purpose and objectives.
Six Steps of the Planning Process
Planning is a decision making process; during the process one decides what should be done and the best course of action for doing it (Bateman-Snell, 2007). The first step in the planning process is situational analysis (Bateman-Snell, 2007). According to Bateman-Snell (2008), situational analysis is: “a process planners use, within time and resource constraints, to gather, interpret...
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Bateman-Snell. (2007). Management: Leading and collaborating in a competitive world. Retrieved April 15, 2008, from University of Phoenix, Week Two, rEsource. Mgt/330 Web site.
Erven E. L., (1999). Management functions. Department of Agricultural Economics Ohio State University Extension. Retrieved April 8, 2008, from http://www2.ag.ohio state.edu/~mgtexcel/Function.html
Management. (2006). The four functions of management. Retrieved April 8, 2008, from http://facstaff.uww.edu/matthewm/artsman/module2/reading.html#part2
Sarbanes Oxley Act. (2008). Sarbanes Oxley informed corporate governance. Retrieved April 18, 2008, from http://www.sarbanes-oxley-compliance.us/
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