Planning is the process of thinking about the activities required to
achieve a desired goal. It involves the creation and maintenance of a
plan, such as psychological aspects that require conceptual skills.
There are even a couple of tests to measure someone’s capability of
planning well. As such, planning is a fundamental property of
Also, planning has a specific process and is necessary for multiple
occupations (particularly in fields such as management, business,
etc.). In each field there are different types of plans that help
companies achieve efficiency and effectiveness. An important, albeit
often ignored aspect of planning, is the relationship it holds to
Forecasting can be described as predicting what the
future will look like, whereas planning predicts what the future
should look like for multiple scenarios.
Planning combines forecasting
with preparation of scenarios and how to react to them.
one of the most important project management and time management
Planning is preparing a sequence of action steps to
achieve some specific goal. If a person does it effectively, they can
reduce much the necessary time and effort of achieving the goal. A
plan is like a map. When following a plan, a person can see how much
they have progressed towards their project goal and how far they are
from their destination.
1.1 Psychological aspects
Planning in public policy
3 See also
5 Further reading
The Striatum; part of the basal ganglia; neural pathways between the
striatum and the frontal lobe have been implicated in planning
Planning is one of the executive functions of the brain, encompassing
the neurological processes involved in the formulation, evaluation and
selection of a sequence of thoughts and actions to achieve a desired
goal. Various studies utilizing a combination of neuropsychological,
neuropharmacological and functional neuroimaging approaches have
suggested there is a positive relationship between impaired planning
ability and damage to the frontal lobe.
A specific area within the mid-dorsolateral frontal cortex located in
the frontal lobe has been implicated as playing an intrinsic role in
both cognitive planning and associated executive traits such as
Disruption of the neural pathways, via various mechanisms such as
traumatic brain injury, or the effects of neurodegenerative diseases
between this area of the frontal cortex and the basal ganglia
specifically the striatum (cortico-striatal pathway), may disrupt the
processes required for normal planning function.
Individuals who were born Very Low Birth Weight (<1500 grams)
and Extremely Low BirthWeight (ELBW) are at greater risk for various
cognitive deficits including planning ability.
Animation of a four disc version of the Tower of Hanoi.
There are a variety of neuropsychological tests which can be used to
measure variance of planning ability between the subject and controls.
Tower of Hanoi
Tower of Hanoi (TOH-R), a puzzle invented in 1883 by the French
mathematician Édouard Lucas. There are different variations of the
puzzle, the classic version consists of three rods and usually seven
to nine discs of subsequently smaller size.
Planning is a key
component of the problem solving skills necessary to achieve the
objective, which is to move the entire stack to another rod, obeying
the following rules:
Only one disk may be moved at a time.
Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the rods and
sliding it onto another rod, on top of the other disks that may
already be present on that rod.
No disk may be placed on top of a smaller disk.
Screenshot of the PEBL psychology software running the Tower of London
Tower of London (TOL) is another test that was developed in 1992
(Shallice 1992) specifically to detect deficits in planning as may
occur with damage to the frontal lobe. Test participants with damage
to the left anterior frontal lobe demonstrated planning deficits
(i.e., greater number of moves required for solution).
In test participants with damage to the right anterior, and left or
right posterior areas of the frontal lobes showed no impairment. The
results implicating the left anterior frontal lobes involvement in
solving the TOL were supported in concomitant neuroimaging studies
which also showed a reduction in regional cerebral blood flow to the
left pre-frontal lobe. For the number of moves, a significant negative
correlation was observed for the left prefrontal area: i.e. subjects
that took more time planning their moves showed greater activation in
the left prefrontal area.
Planning in public policy
Public policy planning includes environmental, land use, regional,
urban and spatial planning. In many countries, the operation of a town
and country planning system is often referred to as "planning" and the
professionals which operate the system are known as "planners".
It is a conscious as well as sub-conscious activity. It is "an
anticipatory decision making process" that helps in coping with
complexities. It is deciding future course of action from amongst
alternatives. It is a process that involves making and evaluating each
set of interrelated decisions. It is selection of missions, objectives
and "translation of knowledge into action." A planned performance
brings better results compared to an unplanned one. A manager's job is
planning, monitoring and controlling.
Planning and goal setting are
important traits of an organization. It is done at all levels of the
Planning includes the plan, the thought process, action,
Planning gives more power over the future.
Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do
it, and who should do it. This bridges the gap from where the
organization is to where it wants to be. The planning function
involves establishing goals and arranging them in logical order. A
well planned organization achieve faster goals than the ones that
don't plan before implementation.
Example of planning process framework.
Patrick Montana and Bruce Charnov outline a three-step result-oriented
process for planning:
Choosing a destination
Evaluating alternative routes, and
Deciding the specific course of your plan.
In organizations, planning is a management process, concerned with
defining goals for company's future direction and determining on the
missions and resources to achieve those targets. To meet the goals,
managers may develop plans such as a business plan or a marketing
Planning always has a purpose. The purpose may be achievement of
certain goals or targets.
Main characteristics of planning in organizations are:
Planning increases the efficiency of an organization. It reduces the
risks involved in modern business activities. It utilizes with maximum
efficiency the available time and resources. The concept of planning
is to identify what the organization wants to do by using the four
questions which are "where are we today in terms of our business or
strategy planning? Where are we going? Where do we want to go? How are
we going to get there?..." ⟨⟩
Automated planning and scheduling
Collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment
Enterprise architecture planning
Land use planning
Learning theory (education)
Network resource planning
Planning Domain Definition Language
^ Owen, AM (Nov 1997). "Cognitive planning in humans:
neuropsychological, neuroanatomical and neuropharmacological
perspectives". Prog Neurobiol. 53 (4): 431–50.
doi:10.1016/s0301-0082(97)00042-7. PMID 9421831.
^ Harvey, JM; O'Callaghan, MJ; Mohay, H (May 1999). "Executive
function of children with extremely low birthweight: a case control
study". Dev Med Child Neurol. 41 (5): 292–7.
doi:10.1017/s0012162299000663. PMID 10378753.
^ Aarnoudse-Moens, CS; Weisglas-Kuperus, N; van Goudoever, JB;
Oosterlaan, J (Aug 2009). "Meta-analysis of neurobehavioral outcomes
in very preterm and/or very low birth weight children". Pediatrics.
124 (2): 717–28. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-2816.
^ Welsh, MC; Huizinga, M (Jun 2001). "The development and preliminary
validation of the Tower of Hanoi-revised". Assessment. 8 (2):
167–76. doi:10.1177/107319110100800205. PMID 11428696.
^ Anderson, JR; Albert, MV; Fincham, JM (Aug 2005). "Tracing problem
solving in real time: fMRI analysis of the subject-paced Tower of
Hanoi". J Cogn Neurosci. 17 (8): 1261–74.
doi:10.1162/0898929055002427. PMID 16197682.
^ Shallice, T. (1982). "Specific impairments of planning".
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B,
Biological Sciences. 298 (1089): 199–209.
doi:10.1098/rstb.1982.0082. PMID 6125971.
Management book fourth edition, Authors: Patrick J. Montana
and Bruce H. Charnov
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Planning.
Look up planning in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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Allmendinger, Phil; Gunder, Michael (2005). "Applying Lacanian Insight
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