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Welcome to PlanningSkills.COM

This website focuses on a wide variety of topics related to organization and individual planning situations. The primary focus is business planning.

Planning is an anticipatory decision making process that involves situation analysis, forecasting outcomes and events, evaluating alternative courses of action, anticipating consequences and considering implementation issues and contingencies. Planning often begins with asking one or more questions, for example: What if ...? Could we ...? Do we ...? Is it possible...? How should we respond ...? How can we ...? Is it feasible to ...?

In general, planning is a proactive process that is intended to help individuals, groups and organizations achieve performance objectives.

Featured Glossary Term


Policies are formal statements of an organization's practices, procedures, or intentions. Policies guide managerial decision making and actions to ensure compliance with the mission and strategy. Policies are broad, precedent-setting decisions that guide or substitute for repetitive or time-sensitive managerial decision making. A policy establishes broad limits and provides direction, but it permits some initiative and discretion. Examples of common policy areas include: customer relationship policies, human resource policies, privacy policies, and security policies. In the public sector, a policy is a broad statement of administrative law and often the intent of political leaders.

Related terms include procedure, method and rule. These terms have different degrees of scope and impact. A procedure is a sequence of steps or operations describing how to carry out an activity. It is more specific than a policy and establishes a customary way of handling a recurring activity. Thus, less discretion is permissible in its application. An example of a procedure is the sequence of steps in the routing of parts. A method establishes the manner and sequence of accomplishing a recurring, individual task. Almost no discretion is allowed. An example of a method is the set of steps in cashing a check. A rule is an established guide for conduct. Rules include definite things to do and not to do. There are no exceptions to the rules. An example of a rule is "No Smoking" or "First come, first served".

Featured Planning Tip

Unity of command

The general rule is that for every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander or supervisor.

The US Incident Command system protocol specifies "Each individual participating in the operation reports to only one supervisor. This eliminates the potential for individuals to receive conflicting orders from a variety of supervisors, thus increasing accountability, preventing freelancing, improving the flow of information, helping with the coordination of operational efforts, and enhancing operational safety."

In a planning situation, it is important to establish a command or authority hierarchy. A specific individual must accept personal accountability for approving plans and actions.

This tip is sometimes interpreted as "have one boss" and that is the general thrust. The commander can delegate, but it is important to know who is in command in a situation.

A person should have one and only one manager to whom he or she is directly responsible.

Each person in an organization should take orders from and report to only one person.

There are situations where this principle is not followed, "such as when a project team is created to work on a special project. In such cases, team members report to their immediate supervisor and also to a team project leader. Another example is when a sales representative reports to both an immediate district supervisor and a marketing specialist, who is coordinating the introduction of a new product, in the home office.",articleId-8876.html

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