Planning, the first managerial function, is setting the organization’s vision, goals and objectives. Executives find planning to be their most valuable tool. A vision is more than a goal; it’s a broad explanation of why the organization exists and where it’s trying to go. It gives the organization a sense of purpose and a set of values that unite workers in a common destiny. Managing an organization without first establishing a vision is like getting everyone in a rowboat excited about going somewhere, but not telling them exactly where. The boat will just keep changing directions rather than speeding toward an agreed upon goal. Top management usually sets the vision for the organization and then often works with others in the firm to establish a mission statement. A mission statement outlines the organization’s fundamental purposes. It should address:
- The organization’s self-concept.
- The philosophy.
- Longterm survival needs.
- Customer needs.
- Social responsibility.
- Nature of the product or service.
Planning includes anticipating trends and determining the best strategies and tactics to achieve organizational goals and objectives. One of the major objectives of organizations is to please customers. The trend today is to have planning teams to help monitor the environment, find business opportunities, and watch for challenges. Planning is a *key* management function because accomplishing the other functions depends heavily on having a good blueprint.
Management is the process used to accomplish organizational goals through organizing, planning and leading.
- Setting organizational goals.
- Developing strategies to reach those goals.
- Determining resources needed.
- Setting precise standards.
The mission statement becomes the foundation for setting specific goals and objectives. Goals are the broad, longterm accomplishments an organization wishes to attain. Because workers and management need to agree on them, setting goals is often a team process. Objectives are specific, shortterm statements detailing how to achieve the organization’s goals. Planning is a continuous process. A plan that worked yesterday may not be successful in today’s market. Most planning also follows a pattern.