Barriers To Effective Planning – Business Paper
Cronje, Du Toit, Marais and Motlatla (2004:141 & 142) statement is that, “planning is the starting point of the management process. Planning is the fundamental element of management that predetermines what the business proposes
to accomplish and how it intends in realizing its goals. In other words, planning involves those activities of management that determine the mission and goals of an organization, the ways in which these are to be accomplished, and the deployment of the necessary resources to realize them. In short planning entails a systematic and intelligent exposition of the direction a business organization must follow to accomplish predetermined goals.
Planning encapsulates the following three dimensions:
? The determination dimension: The business must determine what it wants to achieve by a specific date in future. This means that goals have to be formulated that will serve as guidelines for the business and its various departments and sub-departments.
? The decision-making dimension: The goals determine the actions that are necessary, or the way in which they might be accomplished.
? The future dimension: A goal is something to be accomplished in the future. Planning establishes a connection between the things that have to be done now to bring about a certain situation in the future.”
? As a fundamental element of management, planning is not only the starting point of the management process, but in a sense also the point around which management activities revolves. The goals and the plans determine the type of organization needed, the leadership required, and the control to be exercised to steer the business as productively as possible towards its goals.”
My own statement about planning: “Planning include the organizations objectives or goals, establishing an overall strategy for achieving those goals, and developing a comprehensive structure of plans to integrate and coordinate activities.”
The focus on the first question will be to identify the barriers to effective planning and the measurements to overcome the barriers.
First part: Identify barriers to effective planning:
Stephen P. Robbins and David A. Decenzo (2004: 79 & 80) identify the following barriers to effective planning:
? “Planning may create rigidity: formal planning efforts can lock an organization into specific goals to be achieved within specific timetables. When these objectives were set, the assumption may have been made that the environment wouldn’t change during the time period the objectives cover. If that assumption is faulty, managers who follow a plan may have trouble. Rather than remaining flexible- and possibly scrapping the plan-managers who continue to do what is required to achieve the original objectives may not be able to cope with the changed environment. Forcing a course of action when the environment is fluid can be a recipe for disaster.
? Plans can’t be developed for a dynamic environment: Today most organizations face dynamic change in their environments. If a basic assumption in making plans-that the environment won’t change-is faulty, then how can one make plans? We describe today’s business environment as chaotic, by definition, that means random and unpredictable. Managing chaos and turning disasters into opportunities require flexibility, and that may mean not being tied to formal plans.
? Formal plans can’t replace intuition and creativity; Successful organizations are typically the result of someone’s vision, but these visions have a tendency to become formalized as they evolve. Formal efforts typically follow a methodology that includes a thorough investigation of the organization’s capabilities and opportunities and a mechanistic analysis that reduces the vision to a programmed routine. That can spell disaster for an organization. For instance, the rapid rise of Apple Computer in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s was attributed, in part, to the creativity and anticorporate attitudes of one of its co-founders, Steven Jobs. But as the company grew, Jobs felt a need for more formalized management, something he was uncomfortable performing. He hired a CEO, who ultimately ousted Jobs from his own company. With Job’s departure came increased organizational formality-the very thing Jobs despised because it hampered creativity.
? Formal planning reinforces success, which may lead to failure; we’ve been taught that success breeds success. That has been an American tradition. After all, if it’s broken, don’t fix it.Right? Well, maybe not! Success may, in fact, breed failure in an uncertain environment. It is hard to change or discard successful plans-to leave the comfort of what works for the anxiety of the unknown. Successful plans, however, may provide a false sense of security-generating more confidence than they deserve. Managers often won’t deliberately face that unknown until they are forced to do so by changes in the environment. But by then, it may be too late”.
Second part: And discuss the measures to overcome such barriers:
Cronje, Du Toit, Marais and Motlatla (2004: 141 & 142) Identify the following measurements to overcome the barriers:
? “Management should recognize the limitations of planning and understand that
Plans will require adjustments on an ongoing basis (Cronje,et ,al,2004). With respect to the degree of variability, the greater the uncertainty, the more plans should be of the short-term variety. That is, if rapid or important technological, social, economic, legal, or other changes are taking place, well-defined and precisely chartered routes are more likely to hinder an organization’s performance than to aid it. Shorter-term plans allow for more flexibility.
? Management should ensure effective communication of organizational plans at
all levels (Mancosa Business Management 101 guideline). Planning establishes coordinated effort. It gives direction to managers and non-managers alike. When all organizational members understand where the organization is going and what they must contribute to reach the objectives, they can begin to coordinate their activities thereby fostering cooperation and teamwork.
? Planning compels managers to look to the future. It eliminates crisis
management by obliging future-oriented management to anticipate threats in the environment, and to take steps in time to avert them. By looking back over the past and forward to the future, management can organize the present so that the future will be as prosperous as possible.
? Planning ensures that business keep abreast of technology. The influence of modern technology on contemporary businesses, especially in the development of complex products using complicated processes, makes heavy demands on planning. It takes about ten years to develop a supersonic aircraft or a military helicopter. It is very expensive in both time and money to launch such a project, and proper planning is critical to its success.
? Planning promotes stability. Probably the most important single factor-even in smaller or less complex business-that makes planning indispensable is rapid change in the business environment. Indeed, strategic planning has its origins in the very instability that has been one of the main characteristics of the business environment since the 1960s. Planning, therefore, encourages proactive management. In other words, management plays an active part in the future of the business”.