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Plans prescribe proposed methods of moving towards or achieving one or more objectives or goals.

Often structured, plans can occur in projects, diplomacy, careers, economic development, military campaigns or in the conduct of some business.

The term planning implies the working out of sub-components in some degree of detail. Broader-brush enunciations of objectives may qualify as metaphorical road maps.


The discipline of planning has occupied great minds and theoreticians. Concepts such as top-down planning (as opposed to bottom-up planning) reveal similiarities with the systems thinking behind the Top-Down Model.

Types of plan

Economic planning became an important discipline in the Soviet Union and in Japan -- in the West the word "planner" may rather evoke images of town planning.

In military usage, the grand structured pre-set plans of World War I became the more flexible and less pretentious limited-objective operations of World War II and later.

Examples of plans

Notable plans include:

See also: Planned unit development.