What are the main points in the definition of planning?

Planning is a psychological process of 'thinking and deciding in advance' about 'what is to be done' and 'how it is to be done'. It is a mental activity, in which the manager decides about the goals to be achieved, and actions through which they are to be accomplished. It is futuristic in nature as it involves looking ahead, along with analysing and predicting the future. Planning can be defined as a process of setting up of goals and objectives for a given period of time, formulating alternatives for the course of action to be taken, and finally deciding an appropriate action from the various alternatives. The following are the main points in the definition of planning.

i. Setting Objectives: Planning must pertain to a particular objective. That is, there must be a definite objective for the achievement of which planning is to be done. 

ii. Time Period: The plan must be formulated for a definite time period. If planning is not done with a time frame, it may prove futile. This is because with time business environment changes and requires fresh planning and action. 

iii. Formulating Alternatives for Course of Action: Once the objective is decided, the next task is to decide how it is to be achieved. For the achievement of any objective there can be various alternative course of action. These alternatives must be appropriately formulated. 

iv. Deciding a Course of Action: From the various available alternatives, the best one must be decided.

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