What is Planning? Meaning and Definition of Planning

What is Planning?

Planning is the primary function of management. It is the outline of the activities to be done in the future predetermined goals. It means looking ahead and chalking out the future course of action.

Meaning and Definition of Planning


Planning is concerned with deciding in advance what, when, where, why and how is to be done and who shall do it. Thus, planning is the process of setting goals and choosing the means to achieve those goals.

It is also defined as the process of choosing among alternatives. It is thinking before doing. It is a preparatory step for the action that is to follow. In fact, planning is the outline of future activities to be done for achieving predetermined goals.

Without plans managers cannot know how to organize people and resources effectively for achieving Simply, planning is the process by which managers define goals and take necessary steps to ensure that these goals are achieved. Goals imply a desired future state.

Planning arises from the recognition that some intervention is needed to bring about a change from the current or present state to some desired or alternate future state.

The difference between the present level and e future state is commonly known as strategic gap. It requires time and preparation to bridge this gap. This process is shown in the following below fugure:

Simple Planning Model Planning is a mental process which covers:

  • assessment oft the future
  • determination of objectives in the light of future
  • development of alternative courses of action to achieve such objectives, and
  • selection of the best course of action among these alternatives.

Hence, it is blue-print for action. Without planning other functions become mere activity producing nothing but chaos.

Simple Planning Model what is planning meaning and definitation of planning

Some of the important definitions of planning are given below:


According to Koontz and O’Donnell,

“Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do it and who is to do it.Planning bridges gap from where we are to where we want to go”.

In the words of Mary Cushing Niles, “Planning is the conscious process selecting and developing the best course of action to bridges gap from where we are to where we want to go” accomplish an objective”.

ME. Hurley regards that, “Planning is deciding in advance what is to be done. It involves the selection of objectives, policies, procedures and programmes from among alternatives”.

According to Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich, “Planning involves selecting purposes and objectives of the actions to achieve them; it require decision making, that is choosing from among alternative future courses of action”.

A careful analysis of above Definitions of Planning reveals that:

  1. planning is concerned with future and it is looking ahead.
  2. it involves thinking and analysis of information.
  3. it involves a predetermined course of action.
  4. it specifies the objectives to be attained in the future it is basically a problem of choosing from alternative courses of action.
  5. it involves both decision making and problem solving.
  6. it is thinking before doing.
  7. its objectives are to achieve better results.

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