Planning – A Management Function...

Planning – A Management Function In the world of management, planning is a very important function since it is the first of the basic functions of management which are planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling. It is often being thought that planning is the most fundamental of the managerial functions since all other functions stem from the planning function. Planning prepares organizations for tomorrow by assessing today what an organization wants to accomplish and how it will go about achieving that goal. Through planning, management decides the best alternative among others to perform different managerial functions in order to achieve predetermined goals. Without setting a goal to be reached and lines of action to be followed, there is nothing to organize, to direct, to coordinate and to control in the organization. However this should not lead one to hold the view that planning is an isolated activity required in the beginning only. On the other hand, it is a continuous and unending process to keep the organization on the path of progress while other management functions are also performed simultaneously. Planning is nothing but looking ahead and preparing the organization for the future course of actions which need to be followed. It is a preparatory step and consists of chalking out an activity plan for doing the things in an orderly manner for the achievement of the desired targets and objectives. It is a mental predisposition to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses. It is a detailed programme regarding future course of action. It is a systematic activity which determines why an action is needed, what is to done, who has to carry out the action, how it is to be done and when to be done....

Working with Systems and Procedures...

Working with Systems and Procedures In present day competitive environment, it is essential that for survival one performs very efficiently. He is to be one step ahead of his competitors in productivity and efficiency to be competitive. He should be in a position to foresee the future things and plan properly accordingly. He should continuously improve his performance so that he is not left behind during the changing environment in the times to come. Working with systems and procedures provides a person the necessary implements for this need. Procedures are series of steps constituting a planned method of carrying out an activity. A number of procedures make a system. Systems A system is a set of detailed methods, procedures and routines created to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty, or solve a problem. It is an organized, purposeful structure that consists of interrelated and interdependent elements (components, entities, factors, members and parts etc.). These elements continually influence one another (directly or indirectly) to maintain their activity and the existence of the system, in order to achieve the objectives of the system. Systems underlie every phenomenon and all are part of a larger system. Systems stop functioning when an element is removed or changed significantly. A typical system (Fig 1) has the following: Inputs, outputs and feedback mechanism Maintain an internal steady state despite a changing external environment Display properties that are different than the whole but are not possessed by any of the individual elements Have boundaries that are usually defined Fig 1 Schematic of a system At the basic level, systems are divided into the following two categories. Closed systems – Theses are theoretical systems that do not interact with the environment and are not influenced by its surroundings. Open systems – These are real world systems whose boundaries allow exchanges of energy, materials and information with the larger environment or system in which they exist  Procedures Procedures are step by step sequence of activities...