Planning is “Thinking before the action takes place”. It decides beforehand what, when, and how the task is to be accomplished. It is not exactly the same as strategy, which is nothing but “a comprehensive plan.” The strategy is all about using a trick to gain success for a particular purpose. It is the skill of managing the affairs of the enterprise.
In business, one might come across with the terms planning and strategy, end number of times. Planning is the basic function of management that tries to take a peep into the future. On the other hand, strategy is one of the components of planning and is also known as interpretative planning. The two terms have different meanings and usage in the business world. So, have a glance at the article that explains the difference between planning and strategy.
Content: Planning Vs Strategy
|Basis for Comparison||Planning||Strategy|
|Meaning||Planning is thinking in advance, for the actions which are going to take place in the future.||Best plan opted for achieving the desired outcome.|
|What is it?||Planning is a road map for accomplishing any task.||Strategy is the path chosen for achieving the objectives.|
|Term||Depending upon the circumstances.||Long Term|
|Part of Management Functions||Yes||Sub-part of Decision Making|
Definition of Planning
Planning is an organized process of thinking in advance about a future action. It means the preparation of the plan, i.e. the sequence of steps which will help in achieving organizational objectives. Planning is among the five management functions apart from organizing, controlling, motivating & leading and decision-making.
Planning is a future-oriented activity that takes place in routine decisions of a family, a friend group, a college, government and most importantly, in business management. It requires good judgment skills to choose which action is to be done earlier or later to avoid overlapping in actions.
Planning needs goal setting for which planning needs to be done. After that, alternative courses of action are found, and finally, deciding which plan will lead to your destination successfully. It doesn’t mean that everything will go according to your plan, or it may also happen that the plan may fail midway, so the second list of plans is also prepared, which act as a complementary plan to the original plan if it fails, for achieving the goals successfully in the limited time.
The creation of complementary plans is also a part of the planning procedure. Planning needs to be flexible in nature so that any change can be done if required by the organization. With the help of planning, an organization can exercise control over the action, i.e. whether everything is going as per plan or not.
Definition of Strategy
The strategy is a master game plan designed to achieve the objectives of an organization. It is a mix of competitive moves and actions made by the top-level management for the accomplishment of goals successfully. They are dynamic and flexible in nature. Strategies are based on practical experiences, not on theoretical knowledge, i.e. they are realistic and action-oriented activities. It requires deep analysis of the managers on any move or action, implementation timing, the sequence of actions, outcome, competitors’ reactions, etc.
In the business world, corporate strategies are made for the expansion and growth of entities, which include mergers, diversification, divestment, acquisition and many others. Strategies are made according to the present situations and conditions prevalent in the business environment, but it can’t be said that they are perfect because of the changing needs and demands of the people; strategies may fail.
Moreover, the market scenario will take an unexpected turn any time in the blink of an eye, and nothing lasts forever. Therefore the organization has to be ready for such unpredictable changes and develop a strategy for overcoming these situations. So, the organisation’s corporate strategy combines proactive and reactive strategies.
Video: Business Strategy
Key Differences Between Planning and Strategy
The major differences between Planning and Strategy are as under:
- Planning is anticipation and preparation in advance for uncertain future events. The strategy is the best plan chosen among the various alternatives for accomplishing objectives.
- Planning is like a map for guidance, while strategy is the path which takes you to your destination.
- Strategy leads to planning, and planning leads to programs.
- Planning is future-oriented, whereas Strategy is action-oriented.
- Planning takes assumptions, but Strategy is based on practical experiences.
- Planning can be for short-term or long-term, depending upon the circumstances, unlike Strategy, which is for the long term.
- Planning is a part of the managerial process. Conversely, Strategy is a part of decision-making.
Planning is a forethought of what is to be done in future, but Strategy is a blueprint of what you want to be and where you want to be. Both Planning and Strategy are made by the top-level managers as they know the mission and vision of the organization clearly, so they will make their plans and strategies to take a step forward towards their mission and vision. Planning is preventive in nature, whereas Strategy is quite competitive, but both aim at the optimum utilization of scarce resources.