Barriers to Effective Planning

Published: 2021-07-21 21:00:08
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Category: Business

Type of paper: Essay

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Effective planning requires a thorough knowledge of both present conditions and future goals. Because these things are not always entirely knowable, and because most situations are constantly changing, planning can be a very challenging process. In companies and organizations, planning is usually undertaken by groups, a fact that increases the complexity of the task. Poor Communication The planning process is complicated when communication within or between groups is poor. Insufficient communication of tactics, plans and priorities leads to replication of effort and people working at cross purposes when they should be working together.
Poor communication may be caused by undeveloped skills, rivalries, misunderstanding of the planning process or excessive complexity within the planning group structure. Resistance The difficulties of the planning process are not always the result of accident or incompetence. Not infrequently, people who are going to be affected by change don’t like the idea and resist it. Resistance to planning for change within organizations can take the form of malingering, undermining of morale or straightforward opposition.
Contingency plans to accommodate resistance should be included in any comprehensive planning process. Insufficient Resources If plans become excessively ambitious, they can sometimes by stymied be a simple lack of resources on the part of a company or organization. This is particularly true if the planning involves physical plant renovation or expansion. Grand plans are much less expensive to create on paper than in bricks and mortar, and planners can easily lose track of the eventual cost of their plans. Unknowable Future
No matter how thorough a planning process is, the future always holds surprises. Planners who forget this fact tend to create excessively detailed and specific plans, and then have these plans compromised by unexpected events or changing conditions. Well laid plans for a company expansion or a new product line may be torpedoed by an unexpected economic crash. Lack of Creative Thinking The human mind tends to base its thoughts, activities and expectations on what has happened in the past. Often, this is a valuable trait, but in a planning process it can become a liability.
If planning requires the development of new ways of doing things, an inability to overcome the past on the part of the planners can become a liability that obstructs innovative thought. Inertia Inertia is most frequently a problem for large and long-established organizations. Inertia can be created by a combination of archaic infrastructure, calcified modes of thinking, oversize bureaucracy and fear of change. Forward thinking elements within an organization that want to engage in creative planning may have to spend a lot of time and energy overcoming the inertia of things that have gone before.

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