Henri Fayol's Four Qualities of Effective Plans

Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

Henri Fayol is considered the father of business management. He determined the five functions of business. This lesson will take a look at one area of Fayol's management functions: planning.

Henri Fayol's Planning

Do you think the principles of management and business were very different in the 1900s? Even though technology and the society have changed dramatically since the 1900s, we still use and refer to Henri Fayol's principles of management. Henri Fayol created the basic principles of business that we use today. The common aspects of managing people and business operations are still the same even if society and technology have advanced. Fayol detailed the six functions of management: forecasting, planning, organizing, commanding, controlling, and coordinating. This lesson focuses on the planning part of Fayol's management functions.

Qualities of Effective Planning

Planning is a key component to the functions of management. Before you can tackle some of the other functions of management you need to plan. Business planning is defined as a formal statement of goals with reasons for the goals as well as the actions that are going to take place to achieve the plan. Planning involves looking at the future and making plans for the future. For example, Kelly is the operations manager for a hotel and has been tasked with opening a new hotel. This type of project will require an effective plan in order to successfully open the hotel. An effective plan according to Fayol will have four qualities unity, continuity, accuracy, and flexibility.


The first quality an effective plan should have is unity. Unity is described as the state of being united or together. It is important that an effective plan has unity. For example, Kelly is developing a plan for opening a new hotel. It is important that the plan she develops has unity. The plan needs to unify the opening of the hotel. All parts of her plan to open the hotel need to work together. The opening date of the hotel needs to be line with all of the other parts of building the hotel. All of Kelly's plans need to lead up to the opening day. The hiring of the staff needs to happen prior to the hotel opening. This will keep the plans in order. The goal of planning is looking ahead, but it is also essential when looking ahead to have unity in those plans.


The next quality Fayol deemed important in planning was continuity. Continuity is described as the consistency of operation over time. When making plans for a business there needs to be consistency in the plans. Planning in a business requires all different levels of an organization to work together. Kelly's hotel project will require planning from many different departments and levels to achieve the end goal. For example, Kelly will have to work with the contractors, the company's corporate office, and the actual hotel departments to see that everything runs smoothly. The planning needs to be consistent.

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