Them 1: What is the planning function and how does the planning function work?
Business planning is a crucial function of management used to achieve efficient functioning of organizational tasks. Thus, managers have the responsibility to plan adequately for all the business activities in all the departments ranging from human resource, budgeting, and budgetary plans and finally to the procurement department. Therefore, strategic planning entails all organizational processes geared towards realizing company goals and in turn determining resources for the proper job (The Planning Process | Boundless Management. (2018). It also involves sound decision making to obtain funds meant for pursuing the correct strategy. Thus, planning as a management function focuses its efforts on the future roadmap of the company. Moreover, for the effective plan, management employs the use of various tools to measure both the intrinsic and extrinsic business environment. These, entail but not limited to the value chain, SWOT analysis, and Porter’s five forces.
In a bid to achieve set objectives, the planning function takes a systematic approach. Hence, strategic planning function implements a specific framework guided by a project planning cycle. In this case, the planning function works through five stages. First, the initiation stage is where management generates and evaluates the business idea by conceptualizing all the business factors including its profitability. At this stage, managers are required to establish the scope of the project. Planning and design is the second stage that focuses on the fine details of the project. At this stage, forecasting takes control, time management, investment valuation, and assembling the appropriate inputs to mention a few. Next, the execution phase is where all inputs from stage two are integrated to form the final product. The fourth stage is monitoring and control in which managers analyze the quality of the project. Further, monitoring is done for value addition and redirect the project back in case it is not viable. Finally, the close of the project marks the end of the cycle where management harvests the return and divert plans in the event the project is not fruitful.
Theme 2: Vision and Mission Statements and their role in planning
The ultimate goal of company management is to attain organizational set goals while adhering to its vision and mission statements. Therefore, before formulating and implementing these objectives, managers need to consider some issues about strategic planning. In this regard, strategic plans will involve an entity’s structural change and employees must be included in the decision-making process. Thus, using the firm’s vision and mission statements, achieving the above become simple and straightforward. In this scenario, formulating organizational goals will first commence by drawing a grand strategic plan for the company. It will entail having a close look at the mission and vision statements to shun creating and drifting away from the initial policies and organizational business guidelines. Similarly, managers should communicate the vision and mission statement to employees in a bid to clarify the intent and primary goals of the firm (Hawthorne, 2018). Precisely, the company vision aid to describe the purpose of the enterprise. In other words, it explains the direction and future of the business. Hence, altering any of the above requires a strategic plan to formulate new rules and guidance of the entity. Furthermore, the mission and vision statements help to determine if strategic plans conform to goal and motivate employees to increase productivity respectively. In precision, it is prudent for managers to communicate regularly the vision and mission statements to make employees focus and drive them to work hard towards attaining organizational set objectives.
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