Planning is the primary function of management and occupies the first position in the management process. It is the starting point of the whole management process as other management functions are related to planning function. Planning, in simple words, means to decide the objectives clearly and to prepare a plan. Thereafter to take suitable steps for the execution of the plan. Planning function is performed by managers at all levels. It is deciding the objective to be achieved and taking suitable follow-up steps for achieving the same.
Goal oriented: the main purpose of plan is always to determine the goal to be achieved and the activities to be performed to achieve these goals. So planning relates to creative thinking for the solution of various problems.
Primacy (basic function) of planning: it means planning is the basic function of all other managerial functions. It provides a base for other managerial functions like organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. We can say that structure of all other functions depends on planning.
Forward looking: planning is never done for past but is done for the future to achieve certain objective. Therefore, it is said that planning is thinking before doing. Planning is based on estimated future trends of social, economic and technological changes because it has to tackle the future requirements.
Pervasiveness: planning is required in all sectors, i.e. business, industry, profession etc. whether it is of large scale or small scale and in all the department of organisation like purchase, production, marketing, finance department etc. however nature of planning differs from one department to another.