How Many Types Of Planning According To George R Terry

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George R. Terry, a renowned management theorist, proposed several types of planning that are used in various organizations. In this article, I will delve deep into these different types of planning and provide my own personal touches and commentary.


Planning is an essential function of management that involves setting goals, establishing strategies, and outlining the steps required to achieve those goals. George R. Terry classified planning into four main types, each with its own unique characteristics and purposes. Let’s explore these types of planning in detail.

Strategic Planning

The first type of planning according to George R. Terry is strategic planning. Strategic planning is a long-term planning process that involves setting the overall direction and goals for an organization. It focuses on analyzing the external environment, identifying opportunities and threats, and formulating strategies to achieve a competitive advantage.

In my personal experience, strategic planning plays a crucial role in guiding an organization towards its desired future state. It helps in aligning the efforts of all stakeholders and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal. Strategic planning requires a deep understanding of the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as the external factors that can impact its success.

Tactical Planning

Tactical planning is the second type of planning identified by George R. Terry. Tactical planning involves determining the specific actions and steps required to implement the strategies formulated during strategic planning. It focuses on the short to medium-term goals of an organization and involves allocating resources, assigning responsibilities, and setting performance targets.

In my opinion, tactical planning is the bridge that connects strategic planning to operational execution. It ensures that the strategies developed at the strategic level are translated into actionable plans that can be implemented by different departments and teams. By breaking down the overall strategy into smaller, manageable tasks, tactical planning helps in achieving the desired outcomes.

Operational Planning

The third type of planning identified by George R. Terry is operational planning. Operational planning is the most detailed and specific type of planning that focuses on the day-to-day activities and tasks required to achieve the tactical goals. It involves developing schedules, establishing budgets, and defining the processes and procedures necessary for the smooth functioning of the organization.

From my personal perspective, operational planning is the backbone of any organization. It ensures that all the necessary resources, such as human capital, materials, and technology, are effectively utilized to achieve the desired outcomes. Operational planning requires a strong focus on efficiency, productivity, and continuous improvement to ensure that the organization operates smoothly on a daily basis.

Contingency Planning

The fourth and final type of planning according to George R. Terry is contingency planning. Contingency planning involves preparing for unforeseen events and developing alternative courses of action to deal with potential disruptions. It focuses on identifying potential risks, developing contingency plans, and establishing protocols to mitigate the impact of risks or crises.

In my personal opinion, contingency planning is essential in today’s dynamic and unpredictable business environment. It enables organizations to be prepared for unexpected situations and respond effectively to crises. Contingency planning involves conducting risk assessments, developing response strategies, and regularly reviewing and updating the plans to ensure their relevance.


In conclusion, George R. Terry’s classification of planning into strategic, tactical, operational, and contingency planning provides a comprehensive framework for organizations to effectively manage their goals and objectives. Each type of planning serves a specific purpose and plays a crucial role in ensuring the success and sustainability of an organization. By understanding and implementing these types of planning, organizations can navigate through challenges, seize opportunities, and achieve their desired outcomes.