The basic planning process is outlined in our text as consisting of six steps. The first step is Situational Analysis. This step provides a detailed estimation of prerequisites and assumptions or best guess on possible issues that may arise. The second Step is alternative goals and plans is based on the situational analysis and the information that was examined during that process. The third step is the goal and plan evaluation, this it the step where the pros and cons are discussed and weighet against the other alternative goals discussed in step two. The forth and final step in the developmental process is goal and plan selection once all of the different goals have been examined and the pros and cons have been considered a goal is chosen based on the summary of the other three steps. The fifth step is implementation based on the outcome of the forth step. The sixth step is to monitor and control the processes that have been put into place. This is vital most especially right after implementation because there are always issues that arise that will need dealt with regardless of how well the planning stages went.
I do not believe that any one area is more important than another. There is a symbiotic relationship between these steps because the build on each other and take up where the last one left off. If I have to choose a step as being more crucial than another it would be step three. It is imperative that you trouble shoot your ideas for flaws that exist and work out as many of the kinks as possible be for practical application can begin. Otherwise the headache that is created is usually crippling to the entire process regardless of how good of an idea it was to start with.
Bateman, T.S., & Snell, S.A. (2011). Management: Leading & collaborating (9th ed.). Management: Leading & collaborating in a competitive world , New York: McGraw-Hill