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Fundamentals of Planning Goals and Actions

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Souljerr, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Souljerr

    Souljerr Regular Member

    Aug 31, 2010
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    Planning Fundamentals

    The planning process is acutely similar to the decision process since in both processes you are deciding what to do and how to accomplish it.

    Situational Analysis

    Planning begins with a situational analysis, which is the process planners? use to gather, interpret and summarize all information relevant to the planning issue under consideration within time and resource constraints. It is meant to be extremely thorough and should study past events and current conditions to attempt to forecast future trends. It focuses on the internal and external environment. A thorough situational analysis will provide information about the planning decisions a decision maker needs to make. It should include the six forces discussed within the macro environment.

    Alternative Goals and Plans

    The second step in the planning process is to generate alternative goals that may be pursued in the future as well as the alternative plans that may be used in order to achieve those goals. This step is all about creativity remove all limitations and encourage others to do so as well.
    Goals are the targets or ends the manager wants to reach. There are certain qualities that goals should possess, which could be remembered by the following acronym.
    Specific ? When goals are precise, describing particular behaviors and outcomes, employees can more easily determine whether they are working toward the goals.
    Measurable ? As much as possible, each goal should quantify the desired results so there is no doubt whether it has been achieved.
    Attainable ? Employees need to recognize that they can attain the goals they are responsible for, or else they are likely to become discouraged. However, they also should feel challenged to work hard and to be creative.
    Relevant ? Each goal should contribute to the organization?s overall mission while being consistent with its values, including ethical standards. Goals are most likely to be relevant to the organization?s overall objectives if they are consistent within and among work groups.
    Time-bound ? Effective goals specify a target date for completion. Besides knowing what to do, employees should know when they need to deliver results.

    Plans are the actions or means the manager intends to use to achieve goals. Similar to the decision making process, this phase should include alternative actions that may lead to reaching each goal, the resources required to attain each goal with each action, and the complications that may occur when attempting to reach those goals. Contingency plans are beneficial in the case of disastrous occurrences; these are your ?WHAT IF? plans. They should include possibilities of what can go wrong and the actions to take to resolve those issues.

    Goal and plan evaluation

    The third phase in the planning method is to evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, and potential effects of each alternative goal and plan. Additionally, while evaluating the goals and plans, the planner must prioritize goals and eliminate unnecessary goals/plans. It is important to carefully consider the implications of alternative plans for meeting HIGH-PRIORITY goals. It is extremely important to pay a great deal of attention to the cost of any initiative and the return on investment that is likely to occur as a result of deciding upon a plan.
    This process will identify the priorities and trade-offs among the goals and plans available.

    Goal and Plan Selection

    The fourth phase of planning fundamentals is to select the goals and plans that are most appropriate and feasible after assessing all the possibilities. In most cases, a formal planning process will lead to written sets of goals and plans for a particular set of circumstances. It is also common that different scenarios be attached to sets of goals and plans. Each scenario will then have a contingency plan attached to it, and the implemented plans will follow the likely scenarios. IF the scenario changes, the plan is already attached to put into action.


    After selecting the goals and plans, a planner must implement the plans designed to achieve the goals. All team members or employees must understand the plan, have the resources to implement it, and be motivated to do so. Employees are generally more informed, more committed and much more motivated when they are included in the development of the goals and plans (Google is a prime example of this).
    For the plan to be successfully implanted, it?s required to be linked with the other systems within the organization, particularly the budget and the reward systems. If the organization does not have the financial resources to execute the plan, it is probably not going to work out. Furthermore, organizations use reward systems to encourage employees to achieve goals and to implement plans properly. Commissions, promotions, bonuses, etc. are a few examples of rewards to give employees based on successful performance.

    Monitor and Control

    Finally, one of the MOST IMPORTANT steps that are commonly overlooked is monitoring and tracking the progress of goals and plans. How will you know if your plans are succeeding if you don?t know what?s going on?
    Planning is a repetitive cycle that does not end. A planner must continually monitor the actual performance of their work against the overall goal and plans. The control systems in place must measure performance while allowing the team to take corrective actions when improper implementation occurs.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  2. Souljerr

    Souljerr Regular Member

    Aug 31, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Discuss the stages of decision-making

    The ability to make decisions can be quite difficult, especially when faced with unexpected challenges! There is an ideal decision making process that includes six phases to assist an organizational manager in making good decisions.

    Identifying and Diagnosing the problem

    In order for a manager to make a decision, the first thing he/she must know is what the decision is in regards to. The decision maker must be able to recognize or identify a problem that requires a solution. After the problem has been identified, the decision maker must next diagnose the situation. The first phase is all about identifying the WHAT and the WHY of the problem. Identifying the WHY is just as important if not more important than figuring out WHAT the problem is.

    Generating alternative solutions

    The second phase of the decision making process is to map out the possible sets of solutions to a given problem. This phase is considered the HOW of the decision making process. A decision maker will have the option of using solutions that may have worked from the past (Ready-Made) and must also be willing to conceive new solutions to specific problems (Custom-Made). A decision maker shouldn’t be afraid to seek solutions from colleagues or even customers in order to assist in generating possible alternative solutions to the problem at hand.

    Evaluating Alternatives

    After Generating Alternative Solutions, a decision maker must evaluate the value of the alternatives that were generated to determine which decision would be the best. The first step is to determine the consequences of each possible solution, including those of quantifiable measurement such as costs, turnover, profits, and sales, etc. It is naïve to believe that results can be forecasted with pinpoint accuracy, an option some decision makers may take is to create a contingency plan – which is an alternate set of actions that can be implemented depending on the consequences of the prior decision. It is best to account for the best case scenario, a good case scenario, a bad case scenario, and the worst case scenario for each possible alternative solution before making a decision.

    Making the Choice

    Once all consequences have been considered, it is time to make a decision! There are three important concepts to keep in mind when making your decision.

    • Maximizing
    • Satisficing
    • Optimizing
    The maximizing decision realizes the greatest positive consequences and the fewest negative consequences. Satisficing is choosing the first option that is minimally acceptable or adequate. This method is used compared to your goal as opposed to your options, this is fast decision making. Finally, optimizing means that you achieve the best possible balance among several goals.

    Implementing the decision

    Great! You’ve made your decision! It does not end here. After the decision has been made, it must be implemented. This part can also be referred to as TAKING ACTION. This part of the decision is the WHO of decision making, who will be implementing the decision? And can it be delegated? It is a good idea for any decision maker to create an implementation plan after making his/her decision and to plan it very carefully.

    • Determine how things will look when the decision is fully operational
    • Chronologically order the steps necessary to achieve a fully operational decision.
    • List the resources and activities required to implement each step.
    • Estimate the time needed for each step.
    • Assign responsibility for each step to specific individuals.

    Identify Potential Problems and identify potential opportunities

    It is also extremely important for decision makers to assume that problems will arise and prepare for them to occur:

    • What problems could this action cause?
    • What can we do to prevent the problems?
    • What unintended benefits or opportunities could arise?
    • How can we make sure they happen?
    • How can we be ready to act when the opportunities come?

    Evaluating the decision

    The last and final phase in the decision-making process is to evaluate the decision that was made. It is important to track and analyze the data pertaining to the decision to determine whether or not it was a valuable decision and to determine whether it is working or not and how to adjust its course. It is best to measure quantifiable goals during this phase.
    If the decision impacts the organization positively or negatively, the decision maker should take it as feedback. Feedback suggests the effects of the decision and how to improve it if it is negative. Negative feedback means either the implementation needs more time, resources, effort or thought or it means that the decision was a bad one.
    If the decision was a bad decision, the decision maker shouldn’t allow it to affect them emotionally; it just means that the decision maker must start back at phase 1 (Identifying and Diagnosing the Problem) and use the new information to adjust their approach!
  3. Shadexpwn

    Shadexpwn Elite Member

    Sep 12, 2010
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    Professional Showrunner
    In the Shade
    Very nice statements, too bad they can't be used in accordance to what I know.

    I have these same fundamental principles, but I know them now through experience.