Plan
Encyclopedia
A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective. See also strategy
Strategy
Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked...

. It is commonly understood as a temporal
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

set
Set
A set is a collection of well defined and distinct objects, considered as an object in its own right. Sets are one of the most fundamental concepts in mathematics. Developed at the end of the 19th century, set theory is now a ubiquitous part of mathematics, and can be used as a foundation from...

of intended actions, through which one expects to achieve a goal
Goal
A goal is an objective, or a projected computation of affairs, that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve.Goal, GOAL or G.O.A.L may also refer to:Sport...

. For spatial
Space
Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum...

or planar
Plane
-Physical objects:* Aeroplane or airplane, a fixed-wing aircraft* Plane , a woodworking tool to smooth surfaces* Platanus, a genus of trees with the common name "plane"* Acer pseudoplatanus, a tree species sometimes called "plane"...

topologic
Topology
Topology is a major area of mathematics concerned with properties that are preserved under continuous deformations of objects, such as deformations that involve stretching, but no tearing or gluing...

or topographic
Topography
Topography is the study of Earth's surface shape and features or those ofplanets, moons, and asteroids...

sets see map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

.
Plans can be formal or informal:
• Structured and formal plans, used by multiple people, are more likely to occur in project
Project
A project in business and science is typically defined as a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim. Projects can be further defined as temporary rather than permanent social systems that are constituted by teams...

s, diplomacy
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

, career
Career
Career is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a person's "course or progress through life ". It is usually considered to pertain to remunerative work ....

s, economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

, military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

campaigns, combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

, or in the conduct of other business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

. In most cases, the absence of a well-laid plan can have adverse effects: for example, a non-robust project plan can cost the organization time and money.
• Informal or ad-hoc plans are created by individuals in all of their pursuits.

The most popular ways to describe plans are by their breadth, time frame, and specificity; however, these planning classifications are not independent of one another. For instance, there is a close relationship between the short- and long-term categories and the strategic and operational categories.

It is common for less formal plans to be created as abstract ideas, and remain in that form as they are maintained and put to use. More formal plans as used for business and military purposes, while initially created with and as an abstract thought, are likely to be written down, drawn up or otherwise stored in a form that is accessible to multiple people across time and space. This allows more reliable collaboration in the execution of the plan.

### Planning

The term planning
Planning
Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior...

implies the working out of sub-components in some degree of elaborate detail. Broader-brush enunciations of objectives may qualify as metaphorical roadmap
A roadmap may refer to:*A map of roads, and possibly other features, to aid in navigation.*A plan, e.g.**Road map for peace, to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.**Technology roadmap, a management forecasting tool....

s. Planning literally just means the creation of a plan; it can be as simple as making a list. It has acquired a technical meaning, however, to cover the area of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

and regulation
Regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

s related to the use of resources.

Planning can refer to the planned use of any and all resources, as in the succession of Five-Year Plans through which the government of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

sought to develop the country. However, the term is most frequently used in relation to planning for the use of land and related resources, for example in urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

, transportation planning
Transportation planning
Transportation planning is a field involved with the evaluation, assessment, design and siting of transportation facilities .-Models and Sustainability :...

, etc.

Thus, in a governmental context, "planning" without any qualification is most likely to mean the regulation of land use
Land use
Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover...

Zoning
Zoning is a device of land use planning used by local governments in most developed countries. The word is derived from the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another...

.

### Methodology

The discipline of planning has occupied great minds and theoreticians. Concepts such as top-down planning (as opposed to bottom-up planning) reveal similarities with the systems thinking
Systems thinking
Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish...

behind the top-down model.

The subject touches such broad fields as psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, game theory
Game theory
Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

, communication
Communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...

s and information theory
Information theory
Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics and electrical engineering involving the quantification of information. Information theory was developed by Claude E. Shannon to find fundamental limits on signal processing operations such as compressing data and on reliably storing and...

, which inform the planning methods that people seek to use and refine; as well as logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

(i.e. methodological naturalism) which serve as a means of testing different parts of a plan for reliability or consistency.

The specific methods used to create and refine plans depends on who is to make it, who is to put it to use, and what resources are available for the task. The methods used by an individual
Individual
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Being self expressive...

in their mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

or personal organizer
Personal organizer
A personal organizer, day planner, personal analog assistant, or personal planner is a small book/binder, designed to be portable, usually containing a diary, calendar, address book, and other sections usually including blank paper. It may also include pages with useful information, such as maps,...

, may be very different from the collection of planning techniques found in a corporate
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

board-room, and the planning done by a project manager
Project manager
A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications or software...

has different priorities and uses different tools to the planning done by an engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

or industrial designer.

## Examples of plans

• Architectural plan
Architectural plan
An architectural plan is a plan for architecture, and the documentation of written and graphic descriptions of the architectural elements of a building project including sketches, drawings and details.- Overview :...

A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals....

• Fragplan
Fragplan
A FRAGPLAN or a planning fragment is a document that contains a plan for an activity or series of activities. The difference between a FRAGPLAN and a standard planning document is that rather than being a complete, holistic, end-to-end plan it is instead a pluggable, planning component which may...

• Health plan
• Marketing plan
Marketing plan
A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan.Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, a marketing plan without a sound strategic foundation is of little use....

• Project plan
Project plan
A project plan, according to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, isPRINCE2 defines:In some industries, particularly information technology, the term "project plan" can refer to a Gantt chart or other document that shows project activities along a timeline. While common, this use is inaccurate...

• Plan de Ayala
• Plan de Casa Mata
• Plan de Córdoba
Treaty of Córdoba
The Treaty of Córdova established Mexican independence from Spain at the conclusion of the Mexican War of Independence. It was signed on August 24, 1821 in Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico. The signatories were the head of the Army of the Three Guarantees, Agustín de Iturbide, and acting on behalf of the...

• Plan de Iguala
• Plan de San Luis Potosí
• Site plan
Site plan
A site plan is an architectural plan, landscape architecture document, and a detailed engineering drawing of proposed improvements to a given lot...

• The Schlieffen Plan
Schlieffen Plan
The Schlieffen Plan was the German General Staff's early 20th century overall strategic plan for victory in a possible future war in which the German Empire might find itself fighting on two fronts: France to the west and Russia to the east...

• The Five-Year Plan system in the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

• The Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...

• U.S. plan to invade Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

• A very basic example of a plan: Perhaps you want to go see a movie at a specific time. First, you would look on a Web site for listings of movies in your area, then you would decide which one looks good (if any). Then you would secure transportation thereto, optionally but almost certainly also inviting one or more acquaintances to join you. You may have to adjust your time to when the movie actually starts. This procedure would be a plan to go see a movie.

## Quotations

Plans are of little importance, but planning is essentialWinston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

Plans are nothing; planning is everything.Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke was a German Field Marshal. The chief of staff of the Prussian Army for thirty years, he is regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter 19th century, and the creator of a new, more modern method of directing armies in the field...

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

• Automated planning
• Critical path method
Critical path method
The critical path method is an algorithm for scheduling a set of project activities. It is an important tool for effective project management.-History:...

• PDCA
PDCA
PDCA is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products...

• PERT
• Planned unit development
Planned Unit Development
A planned unit development , is both a type of building development as well as a regulatory process. A PUD is a designed grouping of varied and compatible land uses, such as housing, recreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained development or...

A roadmap may refer to:*A map of roads, and possibly other features, to aid in navigation.*A plan, e.g.**Road map for peace, to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.**Technology roadmap, a management forecasting tool....

• Strategy
Strategy
Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked...

• Tactics
Military tactics
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...