What, How, and Who?


Planning, a word that is troublesome in some organization. Some believe that it is the quintessential thing to do before starting an activity. Others think that it is a waste of time that only has an insignificant outcome towards their overall performance. Which one of these two is the correct view? Before we delve deeper into this matter, it’d be better for us to know the commonly used term to describe the word “planning.”

For the sake of this article, we are going to use Harold Koontz point of view on Planning. He is  a consultant  for US’s largest business organizations, he also co-authored the book Principles of Management with Cyril J. O’Donnell which has sold around two million copies and has been translated into 15 languages. According to him, “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it.” Planning is done way before an activity will be performed by formulating a purpose, strategy, and direction for the aforementioned activity.

If planning is done correctly and accurately, it would yield a necessary information to determine the resources required for time, material, and money necessary to perform the activity. With regards to human resources, planning is also essential to estimate the worker’s target, standard, and criteria for performance appraisal; thus ensuring the yet to be performed activity will move in line with the pre-determined direction, with little to no chance of going off course.

With these principles in mind, let us revisit the opposing view mentioned previously, which one is the correct view? None of these two views are 100% correct, it is a matter of applicability. Planning has little to no impact if applied for an activity that is routine in nature, and have little added value for the company’s performance. A janitorial work for example, planning plays a little part in this activity, since it is the kind of job that is performed in the same way, over and over again; although that doesn’t mean that planning plays no part at all in this regard. However, for a long term activity that is going to be using a large number of resources and money, such as a project to open a new gold mining site; planning is an essential part right down to every level of detail possible. Planning ensures the effectively and efficiency of all resources being used.

What kind of role does planning plays in your organization? Does your organization makes planning as something essential, or do you think than a quick and spontaneous act works better for your organization? Or is it both?

[clu] translated by [ake]

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