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Planning is an anticipatory decision making process that involves critical thinking, forecasting, evaluation of alternative courses of actions, anticipation of consequences and consideration of implementation issues and contingencies. Planning is a process that should involve designing a consistent, integrated program of actions that when carried out will accomplish specific goals. Planning is an ongoing process of analysis and action that attempts to keep a person or organization aligned with relevant environmental forces while building on capabilities and strengths and exploiting environmental opportunities while minimizing weaknesses and avoiding environmental threats. Planning involves creating and formulating plans, acquiring resources, allocating resources, and using control and feedback mechanisms to ensure that the plans are carried out and that the goals and objectives developed as part of the plan are achieved.

People have the ability to project situations into the future and mentally rehearse what might occur for alternative courses of action. This ability is called planning and it can be developed as a skill. Some people have better developed planning skills than do others. Group and organizational processes can also enhance the planning abilities and skills of individuals. In general, planning is a proactive process that is intended to help individuals, groups and organizations achieve performance objectives in a wide variety of unpredictable and even turbulent environments.

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Copyright © 2004-15 by D. J. Power (see his home page). PlanningSkills.COMsm is maintained by Alexander P. and Daniel J. Power. Please contact them at with questions. See disclaimer and privacy statement. This page was last modified on December 8, 2015.