Steps involved in the process of planning-
1. Perception of Opportunities:
Perception of opportunities is not strictly a part of the planning process. But this awareness of opportunities in the external environment as well as within the organisation is the real starting point for planning. It is important to take a preliminary look at possible future opportunities and see them clearly and completely.
2. Establishing Objectives:
This is the second step in the planning process. The major organisational and unit objectives are set in this stage. This is to be done for the long-term as well as for the short range. Objective specifies the expected results and indicates the endpoints of what is to be done, where the primary emphasis is to be placed and what is to be accomplished by the various types of plans.
3. Planning Premises:
After determination of organisational objectives, the next step is establishing planning premises that is the conditions under which planning activities will be undertaken. Planning premises are planning assumptions the expected environmental and internal conditions.
4. Identification of Alternatives:
The fourth step in planning is to identify the alternatives. Various alternatives can be identified based on the organisational objectives and planning premises. The concept of various alternatives suggests that a particular objective can be achieved through various actions.
5. Evaluation of Alternatives:
The various alternative course of action should be analysed in the light of premises and goals. There are various techniques available to evaluate alternatives. The evaluation is to be done in the light of various factors. Example, cash inflow, and outflow, risks, limited resources, expected payback etc., the alternatives should give us the best chance of meeting our goals at the lowest cost and highest profit.
6. Choice of Alternative Plans:
This is the real point of decision-making. An analysis and evaluation of alternative courses will disclose that two or more .ire advisable and beneficial. The fit one is selected.
7. Formulation of Supporting Plan:
After formulating the basic plan, various plan are derived so as to support the main plan. In an organization, there can be various derivative plans like planning for buying equipment, buying raw materials, recruiting and training personnel, developing new product etc. These derivative plans are formulated out of the basic or main plan and almost invariably required to support the basic plan.