Overview of the Business
The first component of any firm’s business strategy is the general outline of the business undertaking in question. In this case we find that British Petroleum is reported to be the largest oil company in the world with its headquarters in Persia. It was established in the 1908.Bp today is the world’s largest oil corporation in terms of production and reserved. It has exploration and producing concession to all of the Persia oil fields. It also owns refining business globally. The total workforce for the company is about 55 thousands employees in addition to 100 thousands contractors. The company is reported to be facing stiff competition from its rivals such the Shell, Aramco among others. (Ronald, 2008).
British Petroleum Company firms have contributed immensely to the growth of the economy globally; the company concentrates on different business activities in the oil and gas industry. The company basically produces gas and oil and also deal with supply and distribution of lubricants to many firms and individuals in many countries. British Petroleum Company success is mainly determined by its human resources and hence there is a need for a planned management. In fact human resource of British Petroleum Company has to be innovative, energetic, creative and motivated in order to remain focused in scope. In fact the company has guiding principles which help the employees to attain set goals and objectives. Such principles define what each and employee of British Petroleum Company is expected to do thus attain their goals. The principles also points out how the company promotes trust, pride, professionalism, trust, teamwork and openness in their undertakings. The principles however, do concentrate much more on the issue of planning which is a key factor in organizational success. Therefore this paper will attempt to reveal the importance of planning as well as the different methods of planning that can be used to enable the British Petroleum Company meet its company expectations. (Bp.com, 2008)
The Planning process and Its Importance in the British Petroleum Company
Research indicates that planning is the process of developing the company’s mission and defining specific methods of accomplishing it which can either be on a broader or narrow perspective depending on the scope of the business. In the British Petroleum we find that planning comes in a number of ways since all sectors in any other business require some form of planning in order to stick to what has been planned. First, there is financial planning which entails the budgeting allocations for all the programs being undertaken within the company. Sponsorship is part of financial planning in that money is needed each year to cater for the teams and individual players being sponsored by companies. (Garth and Jennifer, 1998)
The Relation of Planning To Other Management Functions
Planning includes the setting and monitoring the financial spending of the Company in view of auditing any misappropriation of funds. Provision of benefits, compensations and salaries are also taken care of at this stage. Another section of business organizations that need planning is the policy formulation section. This is critical in that as a profit making company, strategies must be placed correctly to counter marketing issues such as competition from companies which manufacture the same oil product e.g. the Shell Company
Local policy development, creation and implementation come hand in hand with policy planning. The British Petroleum Human resource planning is crucial to achieving the best from employees. Planning its recruitment, hiring, evaluating, training and maintaining the calibre of the workers in any organization such the British Petroleum is important ensuring that skilled workers are employed in the company. (Ferreira, 2000)
Planning Tools and Techniques Used In the BP Company
The process of strategic planning as a business concept refers to the process of determining an organizational mission and basic objectives and defining the strategies which will govern in acquisition and utilization of resources to achieve these objectives and accomplish the mission. In order to enhance this approach much attention need to be directed to formulation of workable strategies. A strategy is regarded as the calculated means by which the enterprise deploys its resources to accomplish its purpose and basic objectives under the most advantageous circumstances (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, and Coulter, 2005).
Under strategic planning the organization mission are defined, corporate objectives established, and strategies developed following a thorough process of environmental and situational analysis. Strategic planning guides the organization’s behavior and set the directions of an organization and how this business enterprise can constantly adapt to its environment. Strategic planning ensures that there is a good fit between the firm or organization and its environment within which it interacts. A firm that fits well to its environment increases the chance of survival and prosperity as compared to that does not fit to its environment. It is therefore prudent for any firm to establish and maintain a positive relationship with its environment.
Operational planning addresses the activities and resources required to implement set strategic plans. In the British Petroleum this approach is mainly dedicated to the allocation of resources, scheduling of actual working activities rather than selection and formulation of strategies as in the case of strategic planning. In essence this approach deals with implementation and execution of the organization chosen plan that involves putting organization’s resources in to place and assigning responsibilities to individuals and organizations units for example strategic business units (SBUs). Under this approach the British Petroleum organization must ensure that the specific performance targets in all functional areas within the firm are attained without jeopardizing the survival and continued growth for the business. (Ronald, 2008)
The low level managers in British Petroleum for example the supervisors have the responsibility of ensuring activities are carried out within a set specific time, using the required resources, and meeting the set targets without much difficulty. Short-term operational plans for small or elementary units of the organization such as individual departments and at times individual managers are implemented to ensure the success of the organization. Key functional strategies for example HR, marketing, financial strategies should be adhered to avoid any risk of losses associated with poor performance (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, and Coulter, 2005).
Research indicates that certain variables that stress achievement of goals and centre on output are normally used to facilitate operational planning approach which may include quality in production and efficiency in the work done. Under this case the management of British Petroleum needs to improve on managerial activities by building people skills through friendly management and also motivation of employees. They state that management also needs to put in place enough machinations to cope with the ever changing environment through continuous improvements of operations and continued update of knowledge and skills by the workers through training. Also British Petroleum has to emphasize the importance of work groups in achieving results. We also find that it is a challenge to the entire management to be effective in the activities and much need to be done including training of managers in order to cope with change that may be brought about by globalization (Hilltop, 1994)
Constraints of Planning
External and Internal Factors
The first component of any firm’s marketing strategy is the general outline of the business undertaking in question. Under this section the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are clearly spelt out in order to assist in future endeavours. Strength can be defined as a particular skill or distinctive competence that a company can do relatively better than other companies especially its competitors and which the organizations have and contributes to the achievements of the stated goals or objectives. A weakness can be defined as any aspect of the company which may hinder the company from attaining its objectives or goals. Usually, it covers the firm’s assets, resources, and capabilities. An opportunity in this aspect can be defined as any event, development, or a feature of the external environment which creates conditions that are favourable or advantageous to the business in relation to a particular objective or set of goals to be attained. It is an attractive venture for the British Petroleum operations which if exploited will lead to a significant upward change with desired results such as increase in profits margins and growth. A threat can be referred to as an environmental development or event which will present problems or challenges likely to hinder the achievement of the British Petroleum organizational objectives, for example, competition, high interest rates, government legislations, declining real income among other factors (Kottler, 1996).
British Petroleum has to have effective decision making processes that go along not only with basic management functions but also with effective strategies that fits present contemporary business world. Effective decision making is crucial to an organization and the authors note several underpinnings that are very important in order to achieve their objectives. Every organization needs to re-evaluate their performance in order to develop strategies that are compatible with existing challenges as well as opportunities. The authors’ position therefore is clear that management is the procedure of getting things done by means of and through human resource personnel by directing and inspiring their hard work towards achieving universal goals. Further we can deduce that human resource in any organization is the most important asset since without them the management cannot attain the achieved goals since they are the one coordinating the activities of any particular organization (Garth and Jennifer, 1998)
We can therefore conclude that, management functions apply in every organization and British Petroleum is not exceptional in order to attain desired goals. we therefore find that the functions of management are those of planning, organizing, leading and controlling and such all four functions requires that the managers of a particular organization such as British Petroleum should have skills and knowledge on how to carry out such management functions in the organization. Planning is considered to be the primary function of management and actually encompasses establishing what should be carried out in future. Planning entails setting of objectives, processes, regulations and other tasks required for attainment of organization’s mission statement. Usually the best strategies are selected from various identified strategies and therefore will require forecasting the future and how best to attain the results that will ensure the success of the organization
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