Discuss why planning is important to managers within an organization.

Planning is important for managers within an organization because it allows the organization to survive in the short term and to develop and flourish in the longer term.

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The very word "organization" emphasizes the importance of planning, since without planning, there is no way to be organized. In the short-term, planning covers such basic matters as cashflow, staffing, stock levels, and the availability of raw materials. Failing to plan in any of these areas could easily reduce an otherwise flourishing business to chaos.

At the very least, a lack of planning would cause waste. There might be people with no work to do or too few people to perform the necessary tasks effectively. Perishable items might have to be thrown out unused, or there might not be enough such items to fulfil orders. Without effective short-term planning, no aspect of the organization can be expected to run smoothly.

Without long-term planning, it is still possible for the organization to survive day to day and week to week. However, neglecting to plan at this level will soon leave an organization in a directionless and uncompetitive state. It will not be able to secure investment, since one of the first things any investor will want to look at is a clear and realistic projection of future growth. Even more vitally, the business will not be able to develop and take advantage of new opportunities without the direction and clarity provided by long-term planning.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 24, 2020
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Managers are very dependent upon planning in order to get the most out of their business unit. They use planning in human resources in order to ensure enough employees are there to run the business. Many of these employees are also cross-trained in other departments in order to ensure coverage. Managers must work efficiently according to plans in order to not to employ too many people.

Managers also make sure they have enough inventory on hand to keep up sales. This means using computer-driven sales data and their own industry experience. They study long-term trends in order to ensure enough product to sale but yet not enough product to become a burden later. This is especially important when handling perishable goods with a shorter shelf life.

By managing the human side of the business, managers ensure that someone is working on every task needed as efficiently as possible. By looking at sales forecasts and long-term trends, they can put a business in position to maximize sales and yet not have too much product once the sale is over. This level of management becomes more complex at the corporate level, as companies consider stock buybacks and debt ratios in determining their next steps in order to please both customers and stockholders.

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Planning is always an important part of businesses. It is necessary to structure and organization your work, your employees, and your resources to get the most efficient production from the things you have on hand. Managers in particular must diligently work on planning—whether it is for staffing, materials and resources, or their own work—because they need to ensure that the work they are responsible for gets completed efficiently and well.

Materials and staffing planning are so important that entire fields and positions are centered around them (scheduling specialists and resource planners, for example). As a manager, you need to ensure that you have the necessary resources on hand or you have the appropriate skill set focused on the jobs they can be most useful in. Being a manager means getting the most out of those beneath you, so it is important to schedule and plan appropriately.

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Planning helps managers allocate scarce resources appropriately. The planning process is aimed at reducing waste or curtailing the inefficient use of the available resources. Thus, planning helps managers to understand the priorities of the organization and ensures that the available resources can meet the most important processes adequately.

Planning also provides the framework for measuring the progress of the different processes and tasks. It enables managers to stay informed with regard to how the processes are being conducted and how far they are from their goals. Planning helps determine the success or failure of different projects.

Planning enables managers to make the decisions about the direction of different projects and processes. Additionally, planning enables managers to control the different aspects of their projects and processes to ensure each task stays on course.

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Planning is important to managers because the whole point of management is to allow a business to operate more efficiently and to be more able to achieve its goals.  If there is no planning, managers cannot do these things.

In order to help a business achieve its goals, managers need to be able to spell out where the firm wishes to "go" and how it wishes to get there.  They must decide, for example, whether and how the firm wishes to expand.  They must decide how that expansion could best be carried out.

If there is no planning, decisions will be taken each day based simply on immediate needs.  This will not allow the company to move forward in an organized and purposeful way towards its future goals.  Such a firm is unlikely to succeed because it would have no long range plan.

For these reasons, managers need to plan if their firms are to succeed in the long term.

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