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Pros and cons of planning

Planning is a fundamental part of everyday life. It is not only important to plan but it is essential to ensure that everything that is planned goes according to plan. But this is not always the case. There are some advantages and disadvantages and disadvantages that are associated with planning as listed below.



1. Planning provides a guide for action: Plans can direct everyone’s actions toward desired outcomes. When actions are coordinated and focused on specific outcomes they are much more effective.

2. Planning improves resource utilization: Resources are always scarce in organizations, and managers need to make sure the resources they have been used effectively. Planning helps managers determine where resources are most needed so they can be allocated where they will provide the most benefit.

3. Plans provide motivation and commitment: People are not motivated when they do not have clear goals and do not know what is expected of them. Planning reduces uncertainty and indicates what everyone is expected to accomplish. People are more likely to work toward a goal they know and understand.

4. Plans set performance standards: Planning defines desired outcomes as well as mileposts to define progress. These provide a standard for assessing when things are progressing and when they need correction.

5. Planning allows flexibility: Through the goal-setting process, managers identify key resources in the organization as well as critical factors outside the organization that need to be monitored. When changes occur, managers are more likely to detect them and know how to deploy resources to respond.

6. Makes you stay updated: With the rapid growth of technological development, it is essential for a manager to keep abreast of the up-to-date technology. Otherwise, the products are likely to become obsolete. Planning helps in this process.

7. Leads to the growth of economies: By avoiding waste of men, money, materials, and machinery, planning indirectly leads to large-scale economies.

8. Planning encourages a sense of involvement and team spirit: Planned targets provide a basis upon which good performances can be rewarded and poor performances can be improved.

9. Planning is the essence of all management activities: Once it is done well, other activities automatically follow.

10. It educates people: It gives them a sense of direction and the stimulating feeling that their efforts are being put to a useful purpose, rather than being wasted. They begin to feel that they are worthy partners in a productive enterprise.



1. Planning prevents action: Managers can become so focused on planning and trying to plan for every eventuality that they never get around to implementing the plans. This is called “death by planning.” Planning does little good if it does not lead to the other functions.

2. Planning leads to complacency: Having a good plan can lead managers to believe they know where the organization is going and how it will get there. This may cause them to fail to monitor the progress of the plan or to detect changes in the environment. As we discussed earlier, planning is not a one-time process. Plans must be continually adjusted as they are implemented.

3. Plans prevent flexibility: Although good plans can lead to flexibility, the opposite can also occur. Mid- and lower-level managers may feel that they must follow a plan even when their experience shows it is not working. Instead of reporting problems to upper managers so changes can be made, they will continue to devote time and resources to ineffective actions.

4. Plans inhibit creativity: Related to what was said earlier, people in the organization may feel they must carry out the activities defined in the plan. If they feel they will be judged by how well they complete planned tasks, then creativity, initiative, and experimentation will be inhibited. Success often comes from innovation as well as planning, and plans must not prevent creativity in the organization.

5. It requires a lot of time: Time, money, and effort are required in the collection and analysis of data and in the formulation and revision of plans. It is a time-consuming process. It is an expensive process. Planning is useful only when the expected gains from it exceed its costs. Often it is remarked that the cost of planning is in excess of its actual contribution.

6. Planning takes time i.e., adequate time. Sometimes, it may cause delays in taking decisions. A manager may be bogged down by procedures, rules, etc. when a quick decision is essential.

7. It may create a false opinion: Planning may create a false opinion that all problems will be solved if the plans are implemented. In practice, management has to revise the plans continuously and check on their execution.

8. There are various other alternatives: Every alternative has its own merits and limitations. Every alternative presents different results also. In this way, diversity of alternatives causes many difficulties in the way of formulating planning.

9. Machinery of planning cannot be free from bias: Forecasting methods, statistical data supplied, etc., are all inaccurate and the results of operation research cannot be applied to all cases that come under planning.

10. Garbage in garbage out: In the planning process, the quality of the output depends upon the quality of input.

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