Management Planning Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Management Planning Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

5 mins read8K Views Comment
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Nov 27, 2023 02:51 IST

The planning process involves setting goals, identifying actions to achieve them, allocating resources effectively, and establishing timelines. It requires thorough analysis, a clear understanding of objectives, and periodic review and adjustment to ensure goals are met efficiently.


Planning is the first step an individual takes towards accomplishing their desired goals. Whether you want to go on a trip or achieve a specific target, it begins with a solid planning process. Similarly, planning is the first management function. It means deciding what to do, when to do and how to do. Planning is necessary for all public, private or solely-owned organizations. It is the first step in all endeavours involving resource allocation, increasing sales, generating more profits, mergers, etc. 

Understanding Planning in Management

Planning is a significant step that managers take at all levels. It involves thinking before doing. It is the blueprint of the course of the action required. The planning includes:

  • Setting objectives for a specific period.
  • Analyzing courses of action.
  • Selecting the best alternative to accomplish that objective.

The goal is to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be. 

Must read: Types of Planning in Management

Planning Process in Management

The planning process in management involves specific steps; let us know about them.

Identifying the Need for Action

The first step is to evaluate the current state, understand why you need improvement, and recognize the hidden possibilities. The more information you collect at this stage, the more comprehensive and robust your plan will be. Managers can begin by analyzing opportunities in the internal or external environment. Also, techniques such as SWOT and risk analyses can be used to find the best alternative. Once the manager finds the appropriate opportunity, the next step is to find and implement the right action.

Must read: Difference between Leader and Manager

Setting Objectives

The primary purpose of planning in an organization is to achieve specific goals. Hence, in the planning process, the second step is to set objectives based on the identified opportunities. The first step is to create the final goal and then break it down into individual, departmental and sectional objectives. Managers need to set realistic goals that are achievable within a stipulated time.

For example- Considering the rising demand for smartwatches, the goal of MNQ company is to increase its production rate by 50%. In order to achieve this objective on time, they need to plan for various aspects such as manpower, infrastructure, transportation, etc. The next step is to share that objective with departments such as production, marketing, finance, and sales. This way, the company will face fewer challenges and achieve its goal on time. 


Making Planning Premises

Future circumstances should always be considered when planning; however, it is impossible to predict them ahead of time. Hence, this step involves making assumptions in advance based on past policies, ongoing trends, and forecasts. Planning premises anticipates a situation where expected actions would be performed. The planning premises can be categorized as internal and external assumptions. Internal assumptions such as quality management, policies, resource availability, etc. External assumptions include government policies, social and political environment, technological advances, etc. 

For example- MNQ company aimed to increase its smartwatch production by 50% for next year. Before this, they analyze the necessary data through forecasting. The organization has set the objective by doing a forecast that due rise in the use of digital devices, demand for smartwatches will grow shortly. Hence, accurate forecasts are significant in drafting a planning premise. 

Explore more related courses. 

Management courses Negotiation courses Business Communication courses
Business Strategy courses General Management courses Strategy and Leadership 

Recognizing Alternatives

There are various ways available for managers to achieve the planned goal. In this stage of the management process planning, they need to find the best course of action. The collection of primary and secondary sources of information can lead to a variety of alternatives. Only those options that are directly and strategically related to the objective should be considered. Considering the pros and cons of each plan, the manager can find the best alternative. 

For example- In order to increase production, the manager can involve employees to gather innovative ideas. This company can find alternatives such as taking building and machinery on the lease, performance bonuses, use of updated technology, etc. This will help the company to achieve its goal in the anticipated time using the best alternative. 

Analyzing Alternatives

After finding an alternative course of action, evaluate each of them in the process of planning. It means checking each plan’s pros and cons and choosing which is more beneficial to achieve the objective. Factors such as cost and risk involved, time duration, etc., should be considered. 

For example- The manager will choose the alternative to increase production without increasing the overall cost.

3 Levels of Management – Meanings, Responsibilities, and More
3 Levels of Management – Meanings, Responsibilities, and More
There are three levels of management that you may have heard. But what are the relationships and differences among each? What are the differing roles and responsibilities of each? more
Is Management an Art or a Science?
Is Management an Art or a Science?
We see lots of controversy about the nature of management, whether it is an art or science. Management experts on the nature of management have given various viewpoints. This more
Top 10 Management Skills that You Must Acquire in 2024
Top 10 Management Skills that You Must Acquire in 2024
Managing a team is a complex role, and organisations today need adaptable managers who have the top management skills. Find out the most essential ones that employers will value. more

Selecting an Alternative

This is the decision-making stage where the manager will choose and implement the best alternative. In order to execute the plan accurately, the manager formulates the rules, budget, policies, and programs. The ideal plan would be one that can adapt to dynamic situations with maximum profitability and minor adverse effects. The final plan is based on scientific principles and mathematical theories combined with the manager’s experience and intuition. Various plans can also be combined instead of choosing one course of action.  

For example- MNQ company will train employees to use new technology, proper communication, robust inventory management, and an employee-friendly environment as alternatives to increasing the production of their smartwatches. 

Related Read – What is a Management Information System?

Executing the Plan

This is the stage in the planning process where the plan is converted into action. The plan must be adequately explained and conveyed to the employees. It is also essential to consider employees’ suggestions and motivate them to execute the plan effectively. 

For example- The MNQ company starts searching for the right manpower, vendors for quality raw materials, area of production and connectivity, etc. 

Check out: 10 Most Important Managerial Round Interview Questions

Follow-up Action

Once the plan is implemented, the next step is to check performance through periodic reviews. Check continuously whether the executed plan is delivering the desired results. If not, modify and revamp the plan. 

For example– MNQ company introduces a bonus policy for workers who work overtime or perform exceptionally well. Employees satisfied with their salaries and working conditions will likely perform at their best. This way, the company could increase its fit watch production without increasing production costs.


What is a management planning process?

Management Planning Process is process which incorporates both short-term and long-term corporate strategies. It also provides an organizational mission statement to emphasize on the organization's vision and its direction.

What is an example of management planning?

Management planning involves looking into future, analyzing it and deciding the future course of action beforehand.

What are the elements of planning?

Elements of planning include objectives, missions, procedures, budgets, strategies and programs.

What is the characteristics of planning?

Characteristics of planning is goal-oriented.

About the Author
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content

Chanchal is a creative and enthusiastic content creator who enjoys writing research-driven, audience-specific and engaging content. Her curiosity for learning and exploring makes her a suitable writer for a variety ... Read Full Bio