What Are The Steps In Formal Planning Process?

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Planning involves selecting future courses of action from available alternatives. There is a formal process for the selection of objectives, goals and the determination of best methods to achieve and attain them.

The formal planning process follows a logical sequence of steps. These steps are;

  1. Situational analysis,

2. Establishment of goals and alternatives

3. Evaluation of goals and plans,

4. Selection of goals and plans,

5. Implementation and,

6. Evaluation.

  1. Situational analysis is the first step in the formal planning process. First, find out, “What is the plan for?” When the planning issue is known, gather every information relevant to the plan.
    The relevance of every bit of information gathered is defined by;

a. Resources available,
b. Constraints,
c. Past events and conditions,
d. Current events and conditions needed to aid the making of reliable forcast and,
e. The time.

Situational analysis is the foundation on which clearly defined goals are laid.

2. Establishment of goals and alternatives:
The success or failure of a business depends on the degree of clarity of goals. Therefore, it’s very important to set specific goals that would increase a business’s chances of meeting and surpassing targets.
The goal establishment step is also an opportunity to set realistic and challenging goals understood by all and acceptable to all concern.

At this stage, alternative plans should also be established. This is very important.

3. Evaluation of goals and plans;
After establishing goals (including alternatives), the next step is to prioritize goals and methods designed to achieve them. This should be preceded by the evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of each goal and plan.

4. Selection of goals and plans:
This is the decision making stage. At this stage, the most feasible plans and courses of action with high likehood of helping the attainment of proritized goals are selected.

5. Implementation stage is the plan execution stage.
Adequate resources must be in place to guarantee the successful implementation of selected plans.

6. Evaluation; Results should be evaluated as they begin to come in. Evaluation should be done regularly for timely remedial actions to be carried out where actual performances deviate from set standards.

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