Planning is the first step of management. It is deciding in advance what is to be done, how it is to be done and by whom it is to be done. We can also say that planning is deciding where we are and where we want to be and how to reach there. The study of planning makes a student understand that planning is a mental function. Not only this planning is pervasive and essential function of the management. Planning is forecasting about future so every other function of management that is organizing, directing, controlling etc can be done only on the basis of planning only. 

Following are the features of planning:
Planning is an intellectual process and not a guess work.
Planning is the primary function of management. Every other step or function is taken on the basis of planning.
Planning is a continuous function. An organization can never stop planning. An organization may have short term plans or long term plans. 

Functions of planning:
Planning makes managers aware of the organization objective and their role in achieving these objectives.
Planning helps in reducing cost and allows maximum productivity with minimum cost. 
Controlling can only be done provided plans have been made. Without planning controlling cannot be done. 

Limitations of planning:
  • Planning though an intellectual process still it is based on estimates. Hence planning can not be  fully reliable. 
  • Planning is done on the basis of assumed conditions and if there is change in conditions then plans may not be in a position to be altered. Hence planning may lead to rigidity.
  • Planning includes cost as well as time. A times too much detailed planning may not be economical for an organization.

Forecasting is defined as analysis and interpretation of future conditions in regards to operations of an organization.

Steps in Forecasting
  • To Identify and Develop the Structure
  • Forecasting about future course of business
  • Analysis about Deviations from forcast

Once all plans have been finalized, all the premises have been developed and alternatives have been evaluated. Next step is to choose one of the alternative that would be organizations plan. This is known as Decision making.

For CS it is important to understand the concept of planning so that he may apply it in his day to day working. Hence ICSI has included this concept in CS Foundation Course. Students must read the study material provided by ICSI thoroughly and practice as much as possible. These online Mock Tests and online Multiple Choice Questions Test (MCQ) cover all the important concepts and questions from Chapter Planning of exam Business Management Ethics and Communication (BMEC) for CS foundation.

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