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Planning Organizing Leading And Controlling

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This paper will discuss four management functions: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. All of these functions are what every good manager does whether he/she knows it. All of these functions have the same importance and work cohesively. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of these four functions and how they can improve ones management skills and the role each function has in management.

Planning is the beginning of any function, whether it is car design, catering, disaster relief, or starting a new division or company it is necessary to plan what needs to be done without planning the end results could be chaos. In Reference for Business they give a fine definition; planning is the function of management that involves setting objectives and determining a course of action for achieving these objectives. Planning requires that managers be aware of environmental conditions facing their organization and forecast future conditions. It also requires that managers be good decision-makers.

Planning is a process consisting of several steps. The process begins with environmental scanning, which simply means that planners must be aware of the critical contingencies facing their organization in terms of economic conditions, their competitors, and their customers. Planners must then attempt to forecast future conditions. These forecasts form the basis for planning.

Planners must establish objectives, which are statements of what needs to be achieved and when. Planners must then identify alternative courses of action for achieving objectives. After evaluating the various alternatives, planners must make decisions about the best courses of action for achieving objectives. They must then formulate necessary steps and ensure effective implementation of plans. Finally, planners must constantly evaluate the success of their plans and take corrective action when necessary (Stephen & Coulter1. 2003). In a small way planning could be viewed as the most important step because it is at the beginning.

For example, planning for the Iraq War, in one hand, the reason for going there was to look for Weapons of Mass Destruction, that was bad planning. In the other, once the president made the decision to go to Iraq the commander of the armed forces had superb planning before he sent military personnel into Iraq. Current maps were acquired and many pictures were taken by the United States and our allies of the entire country of Iraq by spy planes and satellite and were continuously taken before and during the war to track movement of enemy personnel, missiles, and commanders. The commander of the armed forces uses this information to procure a plan of attack. Without this vital information planning could not commence if military personnel are sent in pre-maturely it could result in many lives lost. It is important for a commander to know information like where enemy supply routes, tanks, missiles, airplanes, bridges, roads, and of course where the enemy and their commanders are at all times.

Another great example of planning, or lack of is Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath that ensued after the hurricane did its damage. There was very bad planning in that no one took responsibility for rescue evacuations, every level of government thought the other departments were handling the situation. There were many problems in the disaster relief of Hurricane Katrina. Beginning at the top and working its way down starting first with the president-did not declare the state of Louisiana a disaster area, which would have started federal rescue operations immediately; second the governor of Louisiana- thought the mayor of the hardest hit county was handling everything. Once communications were up the mayor was able to talk to the outside world; he pleaded, nearly begged for help from the federal government. President Bush dragged his feet as well the governor of Louisiana. Meanwhile, people are drowning, looting, and starving. The mayor soon realized he was alone and was the only person helping the situation. In other words, there was no planning at any level even after scientist said that if a big hurricane came that the levee protecting New Orleans would not be able to hold back the rising water. Without planning it is impossible to go to the next phase. This was the downfall of the disaster relief of New Orleans, Louisiana after it devastated Hurricane Katrina. Whoever was in charge, which was never established could not get out of the planning stage. A plan could be pictured like various pieces of a puzzle that need to be arranged in an orderly fashion. Best results are obtained if the same people that did the planning do the organizing, once the plan is made it leads to the next function, organizing.

Planning is as important as the next step, organizing. Organizing is the managerial function of arranging people and resources to work toward a goal. The purposes of organizing include but are not limited to determining the tasks to be performed in order to achieve objectives, dividing tasks into specific jobs, grouping jobs into departments, specifying reporting and authority relationships, delegating the authority necessary for task accomplishment, and allocating and deploying resources in a coordinated fashion.

Organizing plays a central role in the management process. Once plans are created the manager's task is to see that they are carried out. Given a clear mission, core values, objectives, and strategy, the role of organizing is to begin the process of implementation by clarifying jobs and working relationships. It identifies who is to do what, who is in charge of whom, and how different people and parts of the organization relate to and work with one another. All of this, of course, can be done in different ways. The strategic leadership challenge is to choose the best organizational form to fit the strategy and other situational demands



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