Insufficient care given to the format of plans - Strategic Management

There are two great temptations to avoid in the preparation of plans and in the design of the planning system. One is to produce a mountain of paper in long winded documents which are designed on the basis of what somebody thinks a plan should look like rather than what the organisation really needs. The second is to place too much emphasis on forms, so that the process of planning is viewed much in the same way as the annual completion of an income tax return.

Every organisation is unique, and must decide for itself what essential data its plans must include. In addition the requirements of detail will vary through the different levels of the organisation. A divisional manager will, for example, need more control data and information in his operating plans than he should send to corporate headquarters. Some form of ‘pyramiding’ is essential, together with the insistence that executives are only required to read those parts of plans which are valid and useful to them.

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