List and discuss the four reasons for planning.
a. Planning establishes coordinated effort. It gives direction to managers and nonmanagers alike. When employees know where the organization or work unit is going and what they must contribute to reach goals, they can coordinate their activities, cooperate with each other, and do what it takes to accomplish those goals. Without planning, departments and individuals might be working at cross-purposes, preventing the organization from moving efficiently toward its goals.
b. Planning reduces uncertainty by forcing managers to look ahead, anticipate change, consider the impact of change, and develop appropriate responses. It also clarifies the consequences of actions managers might take in response to change. Even though planning can’t eliminate change, managers plan in order to anticipate changes and develop the most effective response to them.
c. Planning reduces overlapping and wasteful activities. When work activities are coordinated around established plans, wasted time and resources and redundancy can be minimized. Furthermore, when means and ends are made clear through planning, inefficiencies become obvious and can be corrected or eliminated.
d. Planning establishes goals or standards that are used in controlling. If managers are unsure of what they are trying to accomplish, they will be unable to determine whether or not the goal has actually been achieved. In planning, goals and plans are developed. Then, through controlling, actual performance is compared against the goals, significant deviations are identified, and necessary corrective action is taken. Without planning, there would be no way to control.
Source: Management, 11e (Robbins/Coulter)