What is the planning process and what are its stages? - GovtVacancy.Net

What is the planning process and what are its stages? - GovtVacancy.Net
Posted on 27-10-2022

What is the planning process and what are its stages?

The planning process consists of the stages through which the actions to be carried out, an individual, a group, or an organization, are oriented towards the achievement of certain objectives that may be immediate or distant, but which are always present. located in the future.

Among the purposes of a planning process are, in addition to the final achievement of the objectives, the optimization of the resources used, the reduction of uncertainty, and the prevention of errors.

Stages of the planning process

The stages of the planning process are the steps that are developed to establish in advance the actions to be executed. They are aimed at the achievement of objectives and the projection of alternatives, they are carried out continuously during the development of the project and can be modified depending on the conditions, opportunities, and results, among other variables. These stages, in their most basic form, are:

  1. Situation analysis. It is based on the collection and detailed study of relevant information. Realities of the past and the present context are taken into account and focused on both internally and externally. Based on this exploration, resource forecasts are made that will lead to the next step in the process.
  2. Establishment of goals and alternative courses of action. The goals correspond to the purposes to be achieved, it is recommended that they follow the SMART methodology, that is, that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Temporarily determined objectives. The alternative courses of action are a detailed set of actions to be carried out in order to achieve the stated goals, considering the resources available and the eventual difficulties. Generally, different schemes are designed in consideration of the virtual environments that can be faced.
  3. Evaluation and selection of the goal and the plan. It is about analyzing the potential advantages and results of each proposed goal and alternative course of action, to select the most well-founded, feasible, realistic, and precise formulas. When planning is based on different scenarios, understood as eventual specific contexts, then goals and plans are designated that contemplate such events.
  4. Implementation. It consists of the execution of the tasks that must be carried out to achieve the objectives set. Each component of the team or organization must be clear about its function, likewise, it is advisable to ensure that it has the necessary resources to carry it out. It is suggested to tie the goals to an incentive system to increase motivation.
  5. Control and verification. As the activities are carried out, the performance obtained is measured to verify whether or not the established objectives are met. Additionally, periodic observations are made to modify goals and actions in accordance with the changing conditions of the environment. The control systems must facilitate the rectification, adaptation, and evolution of the plans, in the face of innovations and transformations, both internal and external. It is in this phase of the planning process where a greater degree of dynamism is imprinted on it.

Know what planning is and what its characteristics, types, and importance are

The previous stages of the planning process are not the only ones, for example, for projects of a personal nature, Robbins and Coulter formulate the following:

  1. Identify what you want to do or achieve in important areas of your life.
  2. Set goals that can be accomplished.
  3. Organize plans to achieve those goals.
  4. Determine how to measure progress toward the goal.
  5. Periodically review the goals.

In other settings, such as management planning, a higher level of detail and a cycle with more stages may be considered. Professor Dave Nagy, from the University of California, Irvine, exposes in a video lesson of his course "Fundamentals of Management" what in his consideration are the eight stages of the planning process in which a manager incurs:

  1. Identification of measurable objectives and goals.
  2. Collection and analysis of information.
  3. Establishment of alternatives that align with the goals.
  4. Evaluation of options.
  5. Selection of the best option.
  6. Detailed development of the specific action plan.
  7. Determination of controls, preliminary, during the process (concurrent) and later (by feedback).
  8. Evaluation of results.

Example of a planning process

Based on the basic stages outlined above, and without being rigorous, the following could be the planning process that the coaching staff of a soccer team would undertake before facing a match:

  1. Situation analysis. In this case, the first step of the planning process requires constant observation, collection, and study of information, both internal, the resources available to the team itself, and external, those of the team to face.
    • External analysis
      • Opponent's tactical setup. Videos of previous games or direct observation that allows us to appreciate the players who usually act in each position, the coordination of their movements and lines, defensive, midfield, and offensive. The possible substitutions that could be made during the challenge and the tactical changes that they employ in a draw, loss, or victory condition. The position in the leaderboard.
      • Opposing players. Suspended, injured, returning from injury, prior to being booked, evaluation of previous matches.
      • playing field. Physical conditions of the rival court where the match will be played. Moisture, density, and height of the grass. Proximity and intensity of fans.
      • Displacements. Travel time extension. The altitude of the city in which it will be played. Degree of involvement of local fans.
    • Internal analysis
      • Players. Current performance, close to suspension, physical condition, history of performance in similar conditions.
      • The most adequate tactical disposition is to neutralize the opposing attack and facilitate its own offensive actions. The lineup that will start, possibility of changes according to the conditions of the match.
      • playing field. In the case of acting as locals, a short grass and well irrigated or not will be preferable.
      • Displacements. Facilities of the accommodation in which the team will concentrate, distance to the stadium.
      • Concentration. Will the players have to concentrate in a previously enabled place to control their rest, food and verify that they arrive in full capacity to focus their attention on the match, without distractions caused by external stimuli, or will it be more motivating to be with their families and meet with the team a few hours before?
  2. Determination of possible goals and courses of action. So far there is a diagnosis of the situation prior to the confrontation, in this second phase of the planning process the desired results and how to achieve them are projected.
    • Goals. A professional soccer team can consider the title dispute as the main goal of each season. This is probably the desire of all squads, however, it is not a real objective for most due to different variables, budget being one of the most important. So, if it's not about the title, it could be that he competes for a place in international tournaments or to maintain the category. Regarding each confrontation, it will depend on the qualities and abilities of the rival, as well as conditions such as whether he plays at home or away, among others. It may be that a draw is considered enough of a prize, that at other times only victory is viable, or that a narrow loss is an acceptable prize.
    • Alternative plans. It is likely that there will be a permanent game plan that will consist of the way the team approaches its games, regardless of whether it plays at home or away or the individual level of its top figure. Single-use plans will also be drawn up in response to the opponent to be faced, and transitory plans that will be executed in special cases, for example, in the middle of a game when a player is expelled or in offensive corner kick plays. In addition, contingency plans will be devised to deal with difficult periods within the season, such as transfer windows in which key players may leave the squad or times in which the high frequency of matches leads to mass injuries.
  3. Evaluation and selection of the goal and the plan. In a certain way, this third stage of the planning process is the one that shapes the course that will be taken. In the case of a particular match, priority will be given to the desired ideal result, victory, although, for example, when visiting a very strong rival, equality may be the most likely positive result. In consideration of this evaluation, the style of play to be developed in terms of attack and defense will be considered. Considerations come into play such as waiting for the rival in their own field to have wide spaces and thus be able to counterattack or hold the ball in the opposite field to do damage through an agile distribution of play, unpredictable mobility, and precision of passes.
  4. Commissioning. This fourth stage of the planning process is certainly the litmus test of the decision-making carried out up to this point. Once the game begins, what is planned by the coaching staff during training and other preparation spaces will be executed by the players following the instructions that the coach sends from the line. Flexibility plays an important role at this stage because the team must have the ability to respond to any game situation that arises. Precisely, it must have been foreseen through planning, and the field for improvisation must be minimal, although talent and individual actions can tip the balance positively or negatively.
  5. Control and verification. To continue with the planning process, the coaching staff will ensure that the goals are met. It will also verify the way in which the tasks entrusted to each player and the team, in general, were carried out at the end of the match. The performance will be controlled based on qualitative and quantitative indicators at the individual and group level. In addition, the results will be reported to the entire group and corrective measures will be proposed for future meetings, which will be worked on in the following training sessions and technical-tactical talks. There will likely be shifts in team priorities over the course of the season, or between seasons, which will result in shifts in goals and with that come changes in plans.
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