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Six Principles Of Planning

Planning is a critical part of any organization’s success. It allows leaders to set goals, chart a course of action, and measure progress.

The six principles of planning help organizations build efficient plans and achieve those goals. In this article, we’ll go over each of the six principles and how they can be used to develop effective plans. Planning is an iterative process, with continual feedback and review helping to shape and refine future steps.

This means that organizations should develop plans that don’t ask for too much at once, but rather build towards their ultimate end goals. The six principles of planning provide guidelines for creating and assessing plans in order to ensure success.

1. Goal Orientation

Goal orientation is the first of the six principles of planning. It’s the idea that plans should always be driven by clear objectives.

This means involving stakeholders and setting clear expectations, both internally and externally. When establishing goals, leaders need to pay attention to important factors like budget, timeline, available resources, and expected outcomes. Additionally, organizations should measure progress against these goals.

This creates visibility into progress and provides the opportunity for regular feedback, guiding future iterations. It’s important to remember that goals should be realistic and achievable in order to maximize success.

2. Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking is another cornerstone of planning. It’s the idea that organizations should plan not just for the present, but also for the future. This means being proactive, rather than reactive, by anticipating potential changes and potential challenges before they arise.

Strategic planning requires research and analysis to ensure the accuracy of plan assumptions and to ensure that goals are obtainable. Additionally, organizations should take risks and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.

This doesn’t necessarily mean taking drastic, game-changing risks, but rather setting smaller goals and experimenting with different approaches. By understanding the big picture, organizations are better able to anticipate problems and adjust plans accordingly.

3. Adaptability

Adaptability is another important principle of planning. This means understanding that plans will likely change as time goes on.

Organizations need to adjust their plans as necessary in order to stay ahead of a market and stay competitive. Additionally, since goals, resources, and available technology can change, plans need to be flexible in order to accommodate these changes. To achieve this, organizations should regularly review progress and provide feedback.

By doing so, organizations are better equipped to respond to changes and make necessary adjustments to stay on track. Additionally, organizations need to ensure that plans are document so that information is easily accessible if adjustments need to be made.

4. Communicative and Collaborative

Communicative and collaborative planning is essential to success. Leaders need to involve stakeholders, both internally and externally, at all stages of planning.

This means regularly communicating with all parties, asking for feedback, and collaborating to ensure everyone is on the same page. Additionally, this allows organizations to ensure that the plan is properly understood and communicated, with everyone knowing their roles and responsibilities. Additionally, involving stakeholders increases the chances of success by helping to uncover potential flaws that may have gone unnoticed otherwise.

By ensuring that stakeholders are aware of changes and progress, organizations are better equipped to course-correct, if necessary.

5. Balanced and Logical

Balanced and logical planning is the process of ensuring that plans are accurate, realistic, and achievable. Organizations need to assess resource availability, budget constraints, timelines, and skillset requirements before undertaking any action. Additionally, leaders need to create plans with achievable milestones and review progress regularly in order to stay on track.

Additionally, plans should be realistic. Organizations should avoid creating overly optimistic plans that are unlikely to be achieved.

This means setting ambitious goals, but also creating a plan that is achievable and manageable. Additionally, organizations should identify key performance indicators that can be used to measure progress and help determine if adjustments need to be made.

6. Risk Management

Risk management is another important principle of planning. This involves understanding the risks associated with a plan of action, as well as strategies to mitigate or manage those risks. Leaders should consider the potential consequences and develop strategies to lessen the likelihood they may occur.

Risk management should be done at the very beginning of the planning process and revisited regularly to ensure risks are still adequately managed. Additionally, organizations should review risk assessments regularly to ensure they reflect the current situation.

This means revisiting assumptions and making adjustments as necessary. Additionally, organizations should also stay abreast of new developments in their industry to anticipate potential risks and address them accordingly.


The six principles of planning are essential to successful planning. Organizations should use these principles when developing plans to ensure plans are realistic, achievable, and driven by clear objectives. Doing so sets organizations on the path to success.

By understanding the six principles, organizations can develop plans that are strategic and comprehensive, as well as tailored to fit the organization’s specific needs.

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