Features of Planning
The planning function of the management has certain special features. These features throw light on its nature and scope.
Planning focuses on achieving objectives: Organizations are set up with a general purpose in view. Specific goals are set out in the plans along with the activities to be undertaken to achieve the goals. Thus, planning is purposeful. Planning has no meaning unless it contributes to the achievement of predetermined organizational goals.
(ii) Planning is a primary function of management: Planning lays down the base for other functions of management. All other managerial functions are performed within the framework of the plans drawn. Thus, planning precedes other functions. This is also referred to as the primacy of planning.
(iii) Planning is pervasive: Planning is required at all levels of management as well as in all departments of the organization. It is not an exclusive function of top management nor of any particular department. But the scope of planning differs at different levels and among different departments.
Planning is continuous: Plans are prepared for a specific period of time, may be for a month, a quarter, or a year. At the end of that period there is need for a new plan to be drawn on the basis of new requirements and future conditions.
Planning is futuristic: Planning essentially involves looking ahead and preparing for the future. The purpose of planning is to meet future events effectively to the best advantage of an organization. It implies peeping into the future, analyzing it and predicting it. Planning is, therefore, regarded as a forward looking function based on forecasting.