Planning and Planning Cycle
Planning is about defining an organisational goal and finding the best way to achieve that goal. The planning cycle starts with determining a specific goal to be achieved during a planning period. Identification of resources, role assignments, implementation of tasks and evaluation are important parts of the planning cycle.
It is an iterative process; organisations can reconsider or repeat any step to find the most suitable alternatives.
What can happen within a planning cycle?
Organisations set assumptions and create forecasts about what may change, this includes changes in external and internal conditions. Internal changes can be: new product launches, new customers coming on board, promotional activities within customers and production capacity constraints. External changes include market factors, competitor activity, the invention of new technology and changes in laws/regulations etc.
How to make the most of it?
Making the most of what happens in a planning cycle is to gather as much insight and information as possible from stakeholders within the business to make informed decisions. Inputs from different departments and people from diverse backgrounds add new perspectives in the planning process and empowers the stakeholders.
A planning cycle helps ensure that critical actions are not missed. The assumptions set at the beginning of the process may change. Business needs to monitor conditions as the plan is implemented, comparing top-down business strategy vs bottom-up most likely outcome.