A View of Corporate Planning Today

by Melville Branch



Corporate management collects and integrates the data, judgments and desired objectives of different units as presented in their plans. With these analyses as a basis, it derives an over-all comprehensive plan embodying the limitations, potentialities, desired achievements and direction of development which the topmost executives decide upon for the enterprise as a whole. This corporate plan is an analytical statement of longer-range intent and strategy evolving from near-term operating realities. It is expressed in annual increments for the planning period, with distant years naturally less precise than the near future. It describes specific efforts which will be made. It represents a commitment of achievement within the limits of reasonable prognostication and control and it serves as an information-factual referent for managers throughout the organization. Normally, it is reviewed quarterly and revised annually. A significant number of leading American companies have established staff units for comprehensive planning which report to the chief executive. These small-size units, with moderate annual budgets, are engaged in preparing both over-all and functional plans. Most of their time is spent in contact work, comprehensive analysis and supervision.

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