On the basis of the definition of planning, the features of planning can be identified as follows
1. Planning is a process rather than behavior at a given point of time. This process determines the future course of action.
2. Planning is future oriented It is primarily concerned with looking into future. It requires forecasting of future situation in which the organization has to function. Therefore, correct forecasting of future situation leads to correct decisions about future course of actions.
3. Planning involves selection of suitable course of action. This means that there are several alternatives for achieving a particular objective or set of objectives. However, all of them are not equally feasible and suitable for the organization.
4. Planning is undertaken at all levels of the organization because all levels of management are concerned with the determination of future course of action. However, its role increases at successively higher levels of management. Moreover, planning at different levels may be different in the context that at the top management level, managers are concerned about the totality of the organization and tries to relate it with the environment white-managers at lower levels may be involved in internal planning.
5. Planning is flexible as commitment is based on future conditions, which are always dynamic. As such, an adjustment is needed between the various factors and planning.
6. Planning is a pervasive and continuous managerial function involving complex processes of perception, analysis, conceptual thought, communication, decision, and action. The very pervasiveness of these planning elements makes it difficult to identify and observe them in detail.