AskDefine | Define planning

Dictionary Definition



1 a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished; "they drew up a six-step plan"; "they discussed plans for a new bond issue" [syn: program, programme]
2 an arrangement scheme; "the awkward design of the keyboard made operation difficult"; "it was an excellent design for living"; "a plan for seating guests" [syn: design]
3 scale drawing of a structure; "the plans for City Hall were on file" [syn: architectural plan]


1 have the will and intention to carry out some action; "He plans to be in graduate school next year"; "The rebels had planned turmoil and confusion" [syn: be after]
2 make plans for something; "He is planning a trip with his family"
3 make or work out a plan for; devise; "They contrived to murder their boss"; "design a new sales strategy"; "plan an attack" [syn: project, contrive, design]
4 make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form; "design a better mousetrap"; "plan the new wing of the museum" [syn: design] [also: planning, planned]planning


1 an act of formulating a program for a definite course of action; "the planning was more fun than the trip itself"
2 the act or process of drawing up plans or layouts for some project or enterprise
3 the cognitive process of thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening; "his planning for retirement was hindered by several uncertainties" [syn: preparation, provision]planning See plan

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. present participle of plan


  1. action of the verb to plan
  2. the act of formulating of a course of action, or of drawing up plans
  3. the act of making contingency plans

Usage notes

Planning is almost never used in the plural, especially by native speakers. It sometimes appears in print, often in tranlated works.


action of the verb to plan
act of formulating of a course of action
act of making contingency plans

Extensive Definition

Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired future on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behaviour. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans, that is, it combines forecasting of developments with the prepararation of scenarios of how to react to them.
The term is also used to describe the formal procedures used in such an endeavor, such as the creation of documents, diagrams, or meetings to discuss the important issues to be addressed, the objectives to be met, and the strategy to be followed. Beyond this, planning has a different meaning depending on the political or economic context in which it is used.


A plan should be a realistic view of the expectations. Depending upon the activities, a plan can be Long Range, Intermediate range and of Short range. It the framework within which it must operate. For management seeking external support, the plan is the most important document and key to growth. Preparation of a comprehensive plan will not guarantee success, but lack of a sound plan will, almost certainly, ensures failure. Just as no two organizations are alike, so also their plans. It is therefore important to prepare a plan keeping in view the necessities of the enterprise. A plan is important aspect of business. It serves following three critical functions: Helps management to clarify, focus and research their businesses or project's development and prospects. Provides a considered and logical framework within which a business can develop and pursue business strategies over the next three to five years. Offers a benchmark against which actual performance can be measured and reviewed. A plan can play a vital role in helping to avoid mistakes or recognize hidden opportunities. Preparing a satisfactory plan of the organization is essential. The planning process enables management to understand more clearly what they want to achieve, and how and when they can do it.
A well-prepared business plan demonstrates that the managers know the business and that they have thought through its development in terms of products, management, finances, and most importantly, markets and competition.
planning helps in forecasting the future, makes the future visible to some extent, it bridges between where are we and where we want to go. planning is looking ahead.

Planning basics

Preparing Plan

Planning is not done off hand. It is prepared after careful and extensive research. For a comprehensive business plan, management has to
  1. Clearly define the target / goal in writing.
    1. It should be set by person having authority
    2. The goal should be realistic
    3. Specific
    4. Acceptability
    5. Easily measurable
  2. Identify all the main issues, which need to be addressed.
  3. Review past performance.
  4. Decide budgetary requirement
  5. Focus on matters of strategic importance.
  6. What are requirements and how will it be met.
  7. What will be the likely length of the plan and its structure?
  8. Identify Shortcomings in the concept and gaps.
  9. Strategies for implementation.
  10. Review periodically.


In organizations

Planning is also a management function, concerned with defining goals for future organizational performance and deciding on the tasks and resources to be used in order to attain those goals. To meet the goals, managers may develop plans such as a business plan or a marketing plan. Planning always has a purpose. The purpose may be achievement of certain goals or targets. The planning helps to achieve these goals or target by using the available time and resources. To minimize the timing and resources also require proper planning.

In public policy

Planning refers to the practice and the profession associated with the idea of planning an idea yourself, (land use planning, urban planning or spatial planning). In many countries, the operation of a town and country planning system is often referred to as 'planning' and the professionals which operate the system are known as 'planners'....... Planning: Planning is a process for accomplishing purpose. It is blue print of business growth and a road map of development. It helps in deciding objectives both in quantitative and qualitative terms. It is setting of goals on the basis of objectives and keeping in view the resources.
It is a conscious as well as sub-conscious activity. It is “an anticipatory decision making process ” that helps in coping with complexities. It is deciding future course of action from amongst alternatives. It is a process that involves making and evaluating each set of interrelated decisions. It is selection of missions, objectives and “ translation of knowledge into action.”
A planned performance brings better results compared to unplanned one. A Managers’ job is planning, monitoring and controlling. Planning and goal setting are important traits of an organization. It is done at all levels of the organization. Planning includes the plan, the thought process, action, and implementation. Planning gives more power over the future. Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who should do it. It bridges the gap from where the organization is to where it wants to be. The planning function involves establishing goals and arranging them in logical order.


External links

planning in Arabic: تخطيط (إدارة
planning in Persian: برنامه ریزی
planning in Danish: Planlægning
planning in German: Planung
planning in Spanish: Planeación
planning in French: Planification
planning in Croatian: Planiranje (ekonomija)
planning in Hebrew: תכנון
planning in Indonesian: Perencanaan
planning in Serbian: Планирање

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adjustment, approach, arrangement, attack, basic training, blueprint, blueprinting, briefing, calculation, charting, clearing the decks, codification, conception, contrivance, coordination, design, device, disposition, enterprise, envisagement, equipment, familiarization, figuring, fixing, foresight, forethought, foundation, frame-up, game, graphing, ground plan, groundwork, guidelines, harmonization, idea, intention, layout, lineup, long-range plan, makeready, making ready, manufacture, mapping, master plan, method, methodization, methodology, mobilization, normalization, operations research, ordination, organization, packed deal, packed jury, plan, planning function, plotting, prearrangement, preconcertedness, preliminaries, preliminary, preliminary act, preliminary step, premeditation, preordering, prep, preparation, preparatory study, preparing, prepping, prerequisite, pretreatment, procedure, processing, program, program of action, propaedeutic, provision, put-up job, rationalization, readying, regularization, regulation, rigged jury, routinization, schedule, schema, schematism, schematization, scheme, scheme of arrangement, scheming, setup, spadework, stacked deck, strategic plan, strategy, system, systematization, tactical plan, tactics, the big picture, the picture, training, treatment, trial, tryout, warm-up, way, working plan
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