The process of planning

“If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” Tariq Siddique
 There is a plethora of literature that highlights the importance of planning, not only in organisations but also in one’s everyday life. The concept of planning is to ensure that a roadmap is set out in order to ensure the achievement of tasks related to an organisations strategy.
 Sharkar (2014) states that the planning function answers two important questions. Firstly, it asks what needs to be accomplished and the second question refers to how it should be accomplished. 
 Sharkar goes on to add that there are four elements evident in planning. These include the clarification of objectives, the articulation of actions, the delegation of resources and the implementation of the project.
 In order to ensure total alignment between each of these elements a process is needed. The process is referred to as the planning process and consists of the following steps.
  •  Clarify goals
  • List of actions
  • Prioritize and order
  • Determine resources (financial and human resources)
  • Determine time frame
  • Evaluation method
 The first step is to clarify the goals required in order to ensure that the required outcome is achieved. Once the goal is clear, then a list of actions can be formulated in order to achieve this goal.  
 It is imperative to ensure what priority each action will take and emphasis on high priority actions need to be taken. The list of actions can be put into order taking note of high priority items and the logical flow in terms of planning.
 These actions can then be delegated to pre-determined resources who will assist in the implementation of tasks. The execution of these actions should be documented alongside a timeline in ensuring that such deliverables are completed within the designated time frame.
 Once these actions are implemented, an appropriate evaluation method is needed to ensure that these actions are completed as agreed. The evaluation method is critical in ensuring overall success of both individual actions and the goal as an overarching achievement.
The important aspect is to continuously monitor and review the planning process to ensure that actions are timeously completed in order to achieve the required goal.
 By Storm Thomas
Communications Manager
The Da Vinci Institute
March 2016
 References
 Sharka, S, R. 2016. Basic elements of planning and decision making. Basic elements of planning and decision making. [ONLINE] Available at: 
[Accessed March 2016].