Planning Process

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Situational analysis is the first step of the planning process, and during this step all information relevant to the situation should be gathered and analyzed in depth. This step explores internal and external factors, influences, and environments, and it studies and determines events and patterns of the past, present, and future(Bateman & Snell, 2009). The first step of the planning process provides you with all the information you need to begin creating a successful plan.

Alternative goals and plans should be considered when formulating a plan, and this is the second step of the planning process. During this step, goals must be specified in order to create a plan. There are five basic ideas that should be considered when choosing a goal; specifics, measurability, attainability, relevance, and time frame should all be part of the goal choosing process when creating a plan (Bateman & Snell, 2009).

The third step of the planning process is evaluation, and during this part of the planning process managers will consider the affects of alternative goals and plans. Managers will weigh out the advantages and disadvantages, and they will focus strongly on cost effectiveness and "expected return" (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p.23).

Goal and plan selection is the fourth step in the planning process, and it entails identifying "the priorities and trade-offs among the goals and plans" in order to select a plan that is the most "appropriate and feasible" (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p.24). During this step managers must use the information gathered in the previous step to determine what goal and plan they must choose.

Implementation is the fifth step in the planning process, and "managers and employees must understand the plan, have the resources to implement it, and be motivated to do so" (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p.25). This step is integral because an excellent plan is not going to work if it is not properly implemented. A plan that has been influenced by the input of...
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