Discuss any two of the fundamental management tasks in a business: Planning & Control Introduction In this essay I shall discuss Planning and Control in terms of their importance and benefits to a business, and how they are interlinked.
I see planning as, the organisation of resources and activities of a business, to achieve specific outcomes over short, medium and long term periods. The path that the organisation will take is stipulated in its vision and mission statements, and should always be considered in the planning process. According to Du Toit, Erasmus and Strydom (2012, p.173), planning has two components namely, plans and goals. Goals are set targets, while the plans are the system or approach the company will use to reach these goals. Goals that are formulated in the SMART framework have greater changes to be accepted, as oppose to general goals. This will ensure goals to be specific with definitive outcomes. Where, when and who questions can be asked. When a goal is measurable, the results can be assessed against set standards. At any point one should be able to know how many computers were sold month to date, for example. Goals should be attainable in a specific timeframe, but at the same time provide employees with challenges. A very important aspect of a goal is its relevance. It must be remembered that goals and plans must be tied to the company’s strategic plans and objectives. A goal should always be time bound to create that sense of urgency among those involved. When no time frame is set, deadlines will be overshot, and targets may not be reached. In the company I work for, Makoya Mining, the CEO has a heart to heart with individual employees at least once a year, where he discusses the future plans of the company and the employees give their view as to where they see themselves in that plan. Specific tasks are then being designed and key performance area’s established in order for both parties to benefit. This integration of strategic and individual goals is called Management By Objective (MBO).
The Planning Process
DEVELOP ALTERNATIVE PLAN SET GOAL REACTIVE PLANNING IMPLEMENT PLAN SELECT PLAN EVALUATE ALTERNATIVE PLAN
Figure 1 Steps in the planning process (Adopted from Introduction to Business Management 6th Ed) Although the focus of goals differs on management levels, the process to set targets remains the same throughout. First, the targets are formulated followed by the development of different plans to reach these targets. Thereafter, all plans are evaluated and the best suitable plan is than selected. When a plan is put into operation, the necessary resources must be assigned to carry out tasks. However, when it is found that the implemented plan is not working, reactive planning
must be carried out, and the process to set goals must be restarted.
Benefits of planning
Planning is the basis of all management functions; it brings many benefits to the organisation. (i) Planning gives the organisation direction that will ensure short and long term goals are harmonised. (ii) Companies can anticipate difficulties and through planning lessen the impact of change on certain outcomes. For
example input costs, budgets etc. can be adjusted as a result of fuel price hikes. (iii) It ensures the optimum usage and application of company resources, to avoid wastage of funds. Planning is the essential forerunner to other management tasks, like control.
Planning can also have an adverse effect on a business. (i)The inherent
suppositions of planning open itself up to estimates and projections being incorrect, due to the uncertainty of the future. (ii)The collection of information, the analysis and interpretation thereof can be time consuming. (iii)Rigid plans can cause employees to lose their creativity. Planning is broken down in plans and goals. The importance of goals can never be over stressed. The activities of employees and the direction...
Bibliography: Du Toit, G.S., Erasmus, B.J., Strydom, J.W. 2012. Introduction to Business Management. 8th ed. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa. Kruger,D., Ramphal R. 2009. Operations Management. 2nd ed. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.
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