Planning is one of the five functions of management. The other functions include organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Planning is a preparatory step, and it determines the time, procedures, and people who should perform a certain job. It is a basic function of management that helps managers to be focused by putting down future courses of action that should be followed. There are different types of planning, which include strategic planning, tactical planning, operational planning, and contingency planning (Dale, 6).
Managers find themselves planning for different reasons. Planning enables managers to be sure that they are working towards reaching organizational goals. These four types of planning relate to one another. They work hand in hand towards achieving organizational goals. For instance, the operational plans help one to attain tactical plans, which further help to meet strategic plans.
In this context, the paper discusses the differences between strategic planning and routine planning. Strategic planning is the process whereby a company or an organization determines the long term goals and then looks for the best approach to apply in reaching those goals. On the other hand, routine planning involves looking for the best approach in determining short-term goals with an aim of meeting the long-term goals (Abraham, 17).
Strategic planning vs. routine planning
There are some differences between strategic planning and routine planning in management. From their definitions, it can be noted that strategic planning focuses on the future. The goals that are set are long term. For instance, managers of corporate firms may create a picture of where the firm will be after a specified period, such as four, eight, or ten years. On the other hand, routine planning focuses on short-term goals, which are instrumental to attaining long-term goals. Another difference between the two types of planning is that the top-level managers provide the strategic plans. This acts as a framework for middle and lower-level planning, which implies routine planning.
Unlike routine planning that commences with current status, strategic planning starts with objectives at the very end towards the current status. The other difference is that routine planning aims at meeting short-term objectives. This entails solving issues that are at hand through specific means. On the other hand, strategic planning envisions a wider picture and is flexible in choosing the best approach.
Example of routine planning: the suburban city
The walls of the city had been contaminated with waste from a cotton industry. The planning committee made the correct moves in order to cope with the situation. This included the analysis of stakeholders, developing a mission statement, and identification of pressing strategic issues. The committee was focused on solving the issues at hand. The routine planning helped them achieve their short term goals.
Example of routine planning: the nursing agency
A director of a nursing agency gathered his senior administrators and staff after rethinking the mission, vision, and values of the agency. Previously, his board members had tasked him to come up with a strategic plan. After looking at the new mission, vision, and long term goals that they had previously drafted, they decided to rework on some issues that seemed irrelevant. With the strategic planning, the agency ended up meeting all the goals within the first five years after planning and implementing (Rogers, Finley, and Galloway, 43).
Strategic planning gives the activities in organizations a direction to follow towards achieving the organizational goals. Without it, organizations cannot perform for the organization may not know the direction to follow. The organization may also not see the reason as to why it should follow that direction. Strategic planning is very important in the whole planning process. Organizations that apply strategic plans in their planning process, in most cases, meet their missions, visions and set goals within the specified time.
Abraham, Stanley C. Strategic Planning: A Practical Guide for Competitive Success. Bingley: Emerald Group Pub Ltd, 2012. Print.
Dale, Reidar. Development Planning: Concepts and Tools for Planners, Managers and Facilitators. London: Zed, 2004. Print.
Rogers, Gayla, Donna S. Finley, and John R. Galloway. Strategic Planning in Social Service Organizations: A Practical Guide. Toronto, Ont: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2001. Print.