Features and Limitations of Planning

All businesses that work collectively with human resource, technological resource, and natural resources, etc. towards a common objective need planning to function smoothly. It is, therefore, the first and essential most steps which businesses need for improved productivity and performance.


Features of Planning 

  • It Involves Defining Objectives 

Defining objectives is the crucial most thing that companies must do so that employees of all levels have a direction where they can proceed. Having an objective makes the task simpler for managers and employees working together as the tasks and deadlines are defined. Hence, the manager will keep checking on employees and the progress of assigned tasks. 

Therefore, the features of a good plan involve objectives as an essential feature so that this process is carried successfully. 

  • As a Primary Function of Management 

Out of all other management functions like organising, staffing, directing, and controlling, planning is the initial most steps. Without proper planning, all other functions of management can’t be attained. 

For example, an organisation ABC industries need to produce 100 units of air conditioner by the end of this month. Here, they must plan and decide objectives and tasks to proceed further. Then, tasks and requirements are organised; staffing is coordinated to declare which employees will work on which level and team, etc. Without a plan, the company will not be able to work with the other functions and fail in attaining the goal.  

  • Pervasive 

Planning is pervasive and applies to all levels of management, and all should work in sync to produce the best output. For example, top-level management thinks from the company’s perspective and declares the ultimate goal that a company should meet within a decided time. Middle-level management focuses on department-wise goals that they must meet. And low-level management deals with daily execution of work. 

  • Goals Decided for Future 

One of the features of planning is that it is aimed for upcoming events and activities. These are planned ahead of time so that people can work in a coordinated environment towards its success. With adequate planning, one can achieve the goals decided for the future. 

  • Perpetual Process

Planning is a continuous process and is created for a definite period after which new plans are needed. After the end of a period, new plans are created as per situation and business demand. 

For instance, due to a pandemic situation in the country, there is a rise in demand for hand sanitizer and hand wash liquids. In such a case, a company that used to produce 1 lakh units of hand sanitizer bottles in a month will have to change their plan so that they can produce more considering the rising demand. 

  • Decision-Making 

Decision making is one of the essential features of planning as they tell the feasibility and success of a plan. Choosing the appropriate option amongst the available alternatives decides if this plan will help in achieving a goal or not. If there is no alternative available for an action, then decision making isn’t needed. 

  • Mental Exercise 

Mental exercise is one of the characteristics of planning as individuals need to think critically and form a plan which can produce the best output. Hence, an effective plan is the result of good critical thinking and logical reasoning. 

Despite the several advantages of planning as a function of management, it may have specific limitations in the business environment. 


Limitations of Planning 

  • Rigidity in Process 

Planning leads to rigidity in the process as all the employees of the organisation have to adhere to the plan even if they have alternatives to perform better. This rigidity in the process may affect the overall productivity of an organisation. 

  • Non-Functional in a Dynamic Process  

It is difficult for organisations to keep adhering to the plan as one is unaware of the future situations they may come across. Market fluctuations, natural calamities, etc. are a few examples of dynamic changes that may affect a business. In such a scenario, it becomes difficult to stick to a plan and organisations have to form new strategies to cope with the new situation. 

  • Huge Cost 

Sometimes, the planning process may consume more time and money and may not prove to be that beneficial. Acquiring expert suggestion, verifying facts and data, and spending on boardroom meetings, etc. may cost significant money. In such a case, planning the processes may not be a feasible option. 

  • Time-Consuming 

The planning process can be time-consuming and may sometimes result in delaying other processes. Delay in other processes of organising, staffing, directing, etc. may result negatively for the organisation as they miss achieving the planned target on time. 

  • Less Creativity 

The low-level management and employees follow up on the plans and steps decided by the top-level management, and this eliminates any room for creativity in the process. They aren’t allowed to add or suggest any innovation which may impact the overall performance of an organisation. 

  • No Guarantee for Success

Even with several beneficial features of planning in business studies, it may not work as well as existing projections. The success of a firm hugely depends upon the well-drafting of plans and its implementation in the real world. But, in many cases, businesses fail to make the right plan as per the changing business market. Managers tend to stick to a tried and tested plan which may not work well considering the changing market scenario. Besides, there is no guarantee if a particular plan will work out for a company or not.

With such limitations of planning, businesses must try to form an effective plan which caters to the changing need of enterprises and market. Students can get a more in-depth idea about this concept by visiting Vedantu’s website.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Planning? Explain the Characteristics of Planning.

Answer: It is the primary and initial most functions of management wherein objectives are determined, and the right approach to proceed for the goal is decided. This step involves all the major decision-making tasks. A few characteristics of planning are declaring objectives, decision-making, future-looking process, perpetual process, etc.