Planning is the most important and basic management function. Planning involves setting objectives and then establishing the policies, procedures, and action plans necessary to achieve them at all levels of an organization. Strategic planning establishes the direction the organization will take over a long term. Strategic planning involves developing goals for the future that reflect current threats and opportunities and match the strengths and weakness of the organization to these challenges. Planning results in clearly stated goals, from which objectives are created to guide steps and actions that will be taken during the short term. Quality planning also identifies the needed resources, both current and future, including space, materials, equipment, and human. Effective strategic planning leads to a comprehensive planning and implementation process.
Plans must be conveyed to the workforce and accepted by the entire organization, from the top level of management to the entry-level employee. Success comes when the entire organization accepts and endorses the mission and values that guided the formation of the plan and will guide its implementation. An important aspect of corporate values is the ethical standards that govern both individual corporate leaders and the company itself.