Some people don’t like plans because they feel they are restricted to particular courses of action. Planning often takes a considerable amount of time to do; it can be a difficult and meticulous job. However, here a few important reasons why you should consider creating a plan for your business…
A plan takes valuable business knowledge from every functional area of an organization and makes it freely available in a way that can be communicated and understood.
You can make better use of opportunities if you are prepared for them. Think of planning as a way to prepare for opportunities. A plan measures the difference between the present and the future and identifies things to do to make the future of your choosing more likely.
Planning helps people to share in common business goals and for those goals to propagate and decentralize into smaller areas of specialty. The larger you organization the more important this concept becomes.
People are the most important part of an organization, but the vast variety of personalities at work makes it difficult for everyone to naturally coordinate activities towards common business goals and directives. Planning helps people to understand their role in the organization and their relationship to other people and their roles. Planning makes organizations flexible because once a plan is set it acts as a vehicle for a change in attitude or direction to be communicated and implemented no matter how large the number of people.
Plans overcome variations in mood and behavior, and provide direction in times of pressure. Plans work well when situations and decisions become too difficult for an individual to manage.
No ones perfect, sometimes we are faced with difficult decisions which we struggle to find the answer to. A plan provides a great reference back to a time when we were thinking more clearly. Mission statements, values and goals can be used as a basis by which to judge the merits of choices in decision making.
A plan is a statement of identity, it says that we are this because of these reasons, it shows what we are and why. A plan takes ownership from one individual and gives it to the entire organization.
If people don’t buy into the plan it won’t work. An organization that has strict control over the behavior of its employees through a centralized command structure will be more effective in implementing a management designed plan than a free choice organization. The more freedom you give employees to make decisions the more necessary it is to involve them in the business planning process. Likewise if you are going to reward and punish people to behave the way to you want them to, in order to do the things you want them to, then don’t bother asking them to sit down and talk about a plan with you.
In conclusion, when you strip away all the tangibles from an organization you are left with value that is difficult to measure and protect. This value is in the form of knowledge, education, expertise, brands, ideas and plans. All the things that you can do to make this value more tangible the stronger your organization will be. A plan is a great way to capture and communicate value.