From Academic Kids

Alternative meanings: Plan, Isère, floor plan, archaeological plan

A Plan is a proposed or intended method of getting from one set of circumstances to another. They are often used to move from the present situation, towards the achievement of one or more objectives or goals.

Informal or ad-hoc plans are created by individuals humans in all of their pursuits. Structured and formal plans, used by multiple people, are more likely to occur in projects, diplomacy, careers, economic development, military campaigns, combat, or in the conduct of other business.

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 acessible to multiple people across time and space. This allows more reliable collaboration in the execution of the plan.



The term planning implies the working out of sub-components in some degree of detail. Broader-brush enunciations of objectives may qualify as metaphorical roadmaps.

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 legislation and regulations 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 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, transportation planning, and so forth.

Thus, in a governmental context, "planning" without any qualification is most likely to mean the regulation of land use. See also zoning.


Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential -- Winston Churchill
Plans are nothing; planning is everything.-- Dwight D. Eisenhower


The discipline of planning has occupied great minds and theoreticians. Concepts such as top-down planning (as opposed to bottom-up planning) reveal similiarities with the systems thinking behind the Top-Down Model.

Types of plan

In military usage, the grand structured pre-set plans of World War I became the more flexible and less pretentious limited-objective operations of World War II and later.

The tactic of violence that targets civilians, with the objective of forcing an enemy to favorable terms, by creating fear, demoralization, or political discord in the attacked population, is referred to as "Terrorism". The practices, tactics, and strategies that governments, militaries, and other groups adopt in order to fight terrorism is referred to as "Counter-terrorism".

Economic planning became an important discipline in the Soviet Union and in Japan -- in the West the word "planner" may rather evoke images of town planning.

Examples of plans

See also

da:Plan (projekt) de:Planung fr:Plan pl:Planowanie pt:Planejamento


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