Skip to content

Difference Between Planning and Controlling

Planning and controlling are two important functions of management. A system of control requires the existence of certain standards. These standards of control which act as a basis of control are provided by proper planning. Once a plan becomes operational, controlling becomes important to examine the progress, measure it, identify deviations, and initiate corrective actions to ensure that events are by the plan. Therefore planning without control is meaningless. Similarly, there is no role in controlling without planning. If the standards are not set beforehand, the manager will not have anything to leave. Therefore, where there is no plan, there is no basis for controlling. Although both planning and controlling go hand in hand, there are certain differences between the two which we will discuss in this article.
Features of Planning

  1. It is the primary function of management.
  2. It is a systematic way of thinking for the accomplishment of predetermined objectives.
  3. It is essential in ensuring the appropriate utilization of resources.
  4. It is also an activity that includes avoiding risks, confusion, wasted efforts, unpredictability, etc.
  5. Planning offers direction and motive to the executors of a plan, which for a company are the associated employees, managers, etc. For any task, planning also helps in distinguishing future threats.

Features of Controlling

  1. Controlling is an ending function. It implies that the controlling function originates once the plan makes the performances.
  2. Controlling is a pervasive function that implies that it is performed by all managers at all levels.
  3. Controlling is a backward-looking function as it is similar to the postmortem of activities performed in the past to find out the deviations from the standard.
  4. Controlling is related to planning. Once a plan becomes operational, controlling is important to examine the progress, measure it, discover deviations, and initiate corrective measures to ensure that events are performed according to plan.





Controlling refers to measuring performance

Planning means deciding the way to perform actual work.


It is a backward-looking function

Planning is a forward-looking function


Controlling is the last function of management

It is the first function of management


Controlling includes the measurement of employees’ performance and feedback.

Planning is a function that decides when, how, where, and who will perform the function.


Controlling plays an important role as without feedback managers cannot judge the performance of employees.

Its function is essential because other procedures of management are only performed in a better way if proper planning is done. Hence, we can say managerial function depends on planning.


The primary objective of controlling is to ensure that the target is achieved or not.

The primary motive of planning is to set goals.

Planning and Controlling