Discuss the relationship between planning and controlling.
Planning and controlling are closely interrelated functions of management. On one hand, planning refers to the psychological process of thinking and deciding about what is to be done and how it is to be done. That is, planning decides the objectives to be achieved and the course of action to be followed. On the other hand, controlling refers to the process of managing and evaluating the work done in accordance with the standards and taking corrective measures, if there are any deficiencies. These standards that form the basis of controlling are provided by planning. The various objectives and policies as formulated under planning serve as standards against which the actual performance is evaluated. Controlling without planning is meaningless. If there are no standards and no objectives, there is nothing to control. That is, if the managers do not know what the final objective is, they do not have any standard against which they can judge the current performance and deficiencies. Similarly, planning without controlling holds no meaning. Once the plans are formulated, it becomes necessary to monitor and evaluate whether the performance is as per the desired plans. Controlling is a requisite for measuring whether the plan is being properly implemented, if there are any deficiencies in the work and if there is a need for taking corrective actions in order to achieve the planned goals. If there is no controlling, planning cannot be accomplished. Thereby, planning without controlling is of no use. Thus, it can be said that both planning and controlling complement each other.
Both the concepts of planning and controlling are interlinked in a way as they are forward looking as well as backward looking. Though it is often said that planning is looking forward and controlling is looking backward, however, the statement is only partially true. Though planning is a futuristic concept dealing with preparing plans and setting standards in advance, it is also based on past experiences and actions initiated in the controlling function. Thus, planning besides being forward looking, is backward looking as well. Similarly, although controlling is based on the past actions and deals with comparing the current actions with the pre-defined standards, it also focuses on taking the corrective actions to improve the future performance of the management. Thus, controlling besides looking back, also looks forward.
Hence, while on one hand, planning is a prerequisite for controlling, on the other hand, controlling is incomplete without planning. Both are inseparable functions that support each other towards the achievement of the goals of the organisation.
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