process of determining the activities required to achieve a desired goal

Planning is the way most organizations work to do big projects. It is thinking about what needs to happen, and then making a detailed plan. It may include a schedule.

Consultants look at an old-fashioned plan-board. Together they discuss the work, who does what, and when.
Nowadays computers may produce schedules, but the details must be discussed live with the whole team.

All humans plan to some extent: it is a fundamental property of intelligent behaviour. In big organisations and government planning is a main activity. It combines forecasting developments with scenarios of how to react to them.

Forecasting is predicting what the future will look like, whereas planning predicts what the future should look like.[1]

The "nuts and bolts" of planning are the documents, diagrams, and meetings, the objectives and the strategy to be followed. Beyond this, planning has a different meaning depending on the context in which it is used.

The counterpart to planning is self-organization, when order emerges spontaneously out of seeming chaos.

References change

  1. How does forecasting relate to planning?