Planning

Planning



Planning


Planning : summing up


Problemistics : summing up

 


 

Planning  (^)


 


 

Planning  (^)


Definition

Planning is the process of staging.

In Problemistics, the Planning process is concerned with staging (setting up and carrying out) Action(s).

Planning is the art and craft of Problem Acting.


Function

The general function of Planning is to aim at Health as the actuation of appropriate condition and disposition.

The specific function is to arrange and accomplish Actions concerning a Problem, that is Problem Acting.


Characteristics

Planning is concerned with the selection of ways (modes) of utilization of limited resources (means) for the achievement of desired goals (ends).


Remark

This modes-means-ends dynamic is to be seen as a continuous monitored process performed in and through time and space.

A monitored process requires continuous flexible controls by feedback and feedforward.


Requirements

Planning should be:

- comprehensive (having a global outlook)

- participatory (enhancing communication and choices)

- dynamic (flexible and continuously adaptable to change)


Phases

For analytical reasons the process of Planning is depicted as composed of three intermingled phases:

  • Moulding (action elaborating)

  • Managing (action effectuating)

  • Monitoring (action evaluating)


The core of each phase and of the entire process is the setting up and carrying out of Action.

 


 

Action  (^)


Definition

An Action is the practical formulation and actuation of a desired reality.

Actions are made of acts and make up activities.


Analysis of Definition

- Acts = basic units of behaviour

- Actions = a series of integrated acts

- Activities = a series of integrated actions


Remark

Behaviour means acts under observation.


Aspects

Actions are characterized by a productive mix of means/modes/ends.


Requirements

With reference to means, modes and ends, Actions have to comply with these requirements:

- consistency means/modes/ends (stress on qualitative aspects)

  (e.g. correspondence: type of resources employed/type of ends achieved)

- compatibility means/modes/ends (stress on quantitative aspects)

  (e.g. correspondence: amount of resources employed/level of ends achieved)


Outcome

The result of an action is an outcome.

Outcomes can be:

- probable : most likely - least likely

- possible : most feasible - least feasible

- preferable : most desirable - least desirable


Intended outcomes are Goals.


Remark

In Problemistics, Actions are concerned with the disposal of the Problem, that is Problem Acting.

 


 

Problem Acting  (^)


Definition

Problem Acting is the process of staging (setting up and carrying out) Action for the disposal of a Problem.


Function

The function of Problem Acting is to implement a proposed Solution to a previously clarified Problem.

The first step towards staging action is Moulding.

 


 

Moulding  (^)


 


 

Moulding  (^)


Definition

Moulding is the phase of elaborating Action.


Aspects

Moulding consists of three aspects:

  • Future Anticipating (explore possibilities)

  • Goal Formulating (select preferences)

  • Decision Taking (operationalize choices)

 


 

Future Anticipating (^)


 


 

Future Anticipating  (^)


Definition

Future Anticipating is the exploration of probabilities/possibilities (Forecasting) associated with the actuation of possibilities/preferabilities (Futurecasting).


Analysis of Definition

- Probabilities : what is likely to happen

- Possibilities : what could be made to happen

- Preferabilities : what is desirable should happen



Forecasting  (^)


Definition

Forecasting is analysis of past-present events for detecting present-future eventualities.


Techniques

Forecasting is carried out by means of various techniques (see Toolbook), for example:

- Trend Extrapolation

- Scenario Writing

- Delphi



Futurecasting  (^)


Definition

Futurecasting is reflection on past-present events for directing present-future Actions.


Techniques

There are no specific techniques for Futurecasting other than:

- clear expression of a Proposed Future

- tenacious perseverance of a Willed Future



Forecasting-Futurecasting  (^)


Distinction

- Forecasting : exploratory (possible-probable)

- Futurecasting : normative (practicable-preferable)


Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Anticipation.


Remark

Forecasting and Futurecasting assist in and lead to Goal Formulating.

 


 

Goal Formulating (^)


 


 

Goal Formulating  (^)


Definition

Goal Formulating is the expression of Needs, Values, Norms as Goals to be aimed at.


Function

The function of Goal Formulating is to present Goals as:

- Objectives for Managing  (action effectuating)

- Targets  for Monitoring   (action evaluating)



Goals  (^)


Definition

Goals are the intended outcome of Decisions and Actions.

In Problem Dealing, Goals can be seen as Needs, Values, Norms expressed in operational form and leading to Decisions and Actions.


Decisions and Actions concern the:

- satisfaction of Needs

- affirmation of Values

- activation of Norms


Classification

Goals  can be classified according to:


Time

initial

(preparation)


intermediate

(execution)


terminal

(completion)


Space

local

(specific)


inter-local

(broad)


global

(whole)


Role

instrumental

(stress on means)


-

final

(stress on ends)


Rank

primary

(main)


secondary

(subsidiary)


collateral

(additional)


Characteristics

A series of  Goals  can present the following inter-relations:

- contrary (opposition)

- rivalry (competition)

- neutrality (indifference)

- compatibility (possible association)

- synergy (favourable association)


Remark

Goal Formulating leads to Decision Taking.

 


 

Decision Taking (^)


 


 

Decision Taking  (^)


Definition

Decision Taking is the process of making choices among alternative Means - Modes - Ends of Action.

The choices are the Decisions.

 


 

Decisions  (^)


Definition

Decisions are choices about  Means - Modes - Ends of Action concerning  a Problem and the implementation of its Solution.


Classification

Decisions  can be classified in relation to a Problem  and its Solution according to:

Nature of the Problem repetitive/routine (problem) = programmed decision

novel/unstructured = nonprogrammed decision

Type of Problem ill-definable (problem) = heuristic decision

well-definable = algorithmic decision

Time/Space of the Problem long span - broad range = strategical decision

short span - narrow range = tactical decision


Requirements

Decisions have certain requirements related to:

- Actors : decisions should be generally taken, implemented or accepted (freely and willingly) by the same subjects that are affected by them

- Information : decisions should be based on the mastery of the necessary data, facts and concepts

- Time-Space : decisions should be taken at and for the appropriate time and space

- Variety : the type and range of (possible) decisions should match the type and range of (possible) situations

 


 

Moulding : overview  (^)


Moulding  is the process of:

- Future Anticipating

- Goal Formulating

- Decision Taking


Various methods are employed during the process of Moulding.

The role of Moulding is to elaborate the Action that will be carried out during the following phase of Planning, that is to say Managing.

 


 

Managing  (^)


 


 

Managing  (^)


Definition

Managing is the actual process of setting up and carrying out Actions for implementing Decisions about Solutions.


Aspects

Managing comprises the following aspects:

  • Communicating

  • Coordinating

  • Cooperating

 


 

Communicating  (^)


 


 

Communicating  (^)


Definition

In Planning, Communicating is the exchange (sending-receiving) of Messages necessary for Managing.


Aspects

The flow of Messages derives from and is concerned with permanent Surveying and Inventorying of Means, Modes and Ends of Action.

  • Surveying

  • Inventorying


Surveying  (^)


Definition

Surveying is inspecting/analysing the type and amount of resources (means) available in relation to chosen aims (ends) and identifying the most appropriate ways (modes) of performing Action.


Remark

Surveying leads to Inventorying.



Inventorying  (^)


Definition

Inventorying is listing what emerges from Surveying in order to provide actors with updated Information about Means, Modes and Ends of Action.


Remark

Surveying and Inventorying as aspects of Communicating are the stepping stones to Coordinating.

 


 

Coordinating  (^)


 


 

Coordinating  (^)


Definition

Coordinating is the appropriate allocation/utilization (in space and time) of Means and Modes of Action in relation to Ends.


Aspects

Coordinating results in:

  • Budgeting

  • Scheduling


Budgeting  (^)


Definition

Budgeting is Coordinating, in physical terms, Modes - Means - Ends of Action.


Function

The function of Budgeting is to put forward optimizing/satisficing ways (modes) of allocating resources (means) to objectives (ends).



Scheduling  (^)


Definition

Scheduling is Coordinating, in temporal/spatial terms, Means  - Modes  - Ends of Action in order that tasks are performed at/within a certain period of time, in strictly or loosely specified locations, in order to reach prefixed goals/objectives.


Remark

Budgeting and Scheduling as parts of Coordinating are the stepping stones to Cooperating.

 


 

Cooperating  (^)


 


 

Cooperating  (^)


Definition

Cooperating is the stage that, on the basis of Communicating and Coordinating, aims at linking in actual operative terms, Means - Modes - Ends of Action.


Aspects

Cooperating results in:

  • Preparing

  • Performing


Preparing  (^)


Definition

Preparing is to provide and arrange all the preliminary conditions required for Performing.


Function

The function of Preparing is to have people and tools ready for Action at the right place and at the right time.



Performing  (^)


Definition

Performing is carrying out operations concerning pre-arranged Means and Modes in view of reaching pre-fixed Ends of Action.

 


 

Managing : overview  (^)


Managing is the process of:

- Communicating

- Coordinating

- Cooperating

for setting up and carrying out Action.


Managing requires a continuous evaluation of the Action itself in order to ascertain its effectiveness and efficiency.


Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Actuation.

The evaluation of Managing (and also of the previous phase Moulding) is conducted through Monitoring.

 


 

Monitoring  (^)


 


 

Monitoring  (^)


Definition

Monitoring is the continuous evaluation of Action (during Moulding, Managing) in order to ascertain its effectiveness and efficiency.


Analysis of Definition

- Effectiveness = action appropriate in relation to ends (i.e. achieving the pre-fixed target)

- Efficiency = action appropriate in relation to means and modes (i.e. using the most suitable means in the most suitable modes)


Aspects

Monitoring consists of the following aspects:

  • Recording

  • Rating

  • Reviewing

 


 

Recording  (^)


Definition

Recording is keeping accurate track of the transformations (operations, combinations) concerning the situation.


Tools

A basic support for recording, is a manual and electronic Log-Book with related devices.

 


 

Rating  (^)


 


 

Rating  (^)


Definition

Rating is to assess Action in relation to results achieved (ends), resources utilized (means), methods employed (modes).


Remark

An important aspect of rating is assessing the long-lasting effects of Action in presence of Variety (in and of situations).

 


 

Variety  (^)


Definition

Variety is the type and level of complexity/simplicity of a situation.


Note on Requisite Variety

Situations undergo continuous transformations in the sense of simplification or complication. In general:

- complexity demands variety attenuation (e.g. standardization)

- simplicity allows for variety amplification (e.g. personalization)


Each situation asks for a type and level of Requisite Variety, that is for the right (required, appropriate) balance between simplicity and complexity.

A balance is struck when the variety of possible/actual situations is matched by versatility of possible/actual operations.



Versatility  (^)


Definition

Versatility is capability and flexibility of Action in response to Variety in/of situations.


Remark

All situations undergo a process of continuous transformation that requires continuous Reviewing

A regulative intervention (as part of Reviewing) can be performed only if the variety in situations is matched by versatility (capability and flexibility) in responding to situations.

 


 

Reviewing  (^)


 


 

Reviewing  (^)


Definition

Reviewing is intervention in the situation, with respect to the results of the Rating stage.


Outcomes

The possible outcomes of reviewing, as far as Action is concerned, can lead to:

  • Renewing (extend action in time/space)

  • Revising  (modify/update action)

  • Revoking (cancel/annul action)


Function

The function of Reviewing is to provide checks for the effectiveness and the efficiency of the Action.

These checks are reflected into action through a dynamic of Feedback and Feedforward.


Remark

- Feedback      = re-action from unwanted changes in the situation

- Feedforward = action for wanted changes in the situation

 


 


Feedback  (^)


Definition

A Feedback is an adjustment to a situation in response to Information about its actual state and in relation to Decisions about its preferred state.

The adjustment (Action) becomes Information for new Decisions in a never ending process of adjustment.


Classification

Feedbacks can be classified into two categories:

  • Positive

    A positive feedback reinforces the change in the direction taken until the preferred state is reached

    (function : amplification, strengthening)

  • Negative

    A negative feedback reverses the direction of the change until the preferred state is regained

    (function : restriction, correction)

 


 

Feedforward  (^)


Definition

A Feedforward (Futurecasting) is a pre-adjustment to a situation (through preventive Action) in response to Forecasting about its probable future state and in relation to Decisions about its preferred future state.

 


 

Monitoring : overview  (^)


Monitoring is the process of :

- Recording

- Rating

- Reviewing

means, modes, ends of Action.


Monitoring is a continuous process that never comes to a conclusion because of continuous changes in situations.

Monitoring alerts us to when new Action has to be undertaken, putting again into motion the never ending process of Planning.

 


 

Planning : summing up  (^)


Planning is  Problem Acting, that is intervention in a Problem through implementation of its Solution by Action.


During the process of Planning the demand may arise for:

- a better definition/total redefinition of the Problem or

- a better formulation/total reformulation of the Solution

because new situations (data), combinations (ideas), operations (opportunities) have emerged (e.g. new problems, new solutions).


This leads back to Problem Finding (Research) or to Problem Solving (Design) and so to the resumption/continuation of the full dynamic process of Problemistics (Problem Dealing).

 


 

Problemistics : summing up  (^)


Problemistics (Problem Dealing ) is a permanent life process that confronts every human being in the various Spheres of life experience and in the course of which human beings and communities produce and develop a dynamic condition of Well-Being.

 

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