In this post, we will look at planning from the perspective of business managers. The five-step process below explains how managers plan. While considering this we will look at how teachers address planning in a slightly different way.
- Developing Awareness of Current Situation
Before plans can be made a manager must be aware of the current state of the context. Developing this knowledge of the current state of the situation is called developing awareness. It is hard to plan when one does not know what is already going on. Within education, a needs assessment is sometimes used to develop a map of the current challenges the institution is facing
Once a manager has an idea of what is going on within the setting for which they are needed for decision making they can now move to actually develop a plan.
2. Establishing Outcome(s)
Step two involves making outcome statements. Outcome statements explain where the team is trying to go or is heading. These statements are end statements that indicate how things should be different once the plan is over. An example of an outcome statement would be “improving customer retention by ten percent.” This statement clearly has something that can be measured and thus can be used as an outcome.
In education, it is common for teachers to have goals and objectives. Goals tend to be broader and unmeasurable but still serve the function of guiding a teacher. A simple example of a goal would be “be the best.” On the surface, this statement does not have meaning have much meaning but it does establish a general sense of direction. Objectives are much more narrow but easily measured. An example of an objective would be “after training, the salesmen in appliances will boost sales of appliances by 10% within 6 months. In this example, everything seems to be laid out. When planning is focused on goals and action it is called goal planning.
Premising involves analyzing the assumptions that managers have about the current plan. In addition, premising can be used to determine what resources and materials are needed to complete the plan.
For example, a manager is planning to place their kitchen supplies on sale. Obviously, the manager is assuming they have enough supply of kitchen supplies that a sale is warranted. In addition, the manager is also assuming they can advertise on the days they want. These assumptions need to be checked because assuming them could be disastrous.
In education premising is not as common in the middle of the context as it is in the very first step.
4. Course of Action
In step 4, a manager starts to determine how to move their team from the current state to the outcome state. This can involve creating action statements which are statements that indicate the way a goal will be achieved. For example, if an organization is trying to boost sales an action statement might involve sending people for training in new products. In other words, product training is the action for achieving the outcome of increased sales.
The ideas in this process are highly similar to what is done in education. Instead of an action statement. The main difference is terminology in which education is focused on objectives while management is focused on action statements.
5. Supportive Plans
Supportive plans are additional plans that help to achieve a larger plan. For example, it was mentioned how workers might need training to boost sales. Boosting sales is the main plan but it might be needed to make a supportive plan to get workers trained on new products.
Teachers might make supportive plans on accident and probably don’t see or consider them as supportive plans. For example, if a teacher is teaching math that is too difficult for the students, the teacher might make a supportive plan to provide remedial reteaching to help catch the students up.
Planning is a critical part of management. Teaching involves extensive planning. The goal here was simply to show a different way of planning as derived from the business world. The ideas presented here may be useful for some.