In terms of their specificity, plans are divided into two types: specific and directional. The difference between specific plans and directional plans is easy to recognize. In specific plans, the objectives are clearly defined. There is no ambiguity, and problems with misunderstandings do not exist. While in directional plans, only the general guidelines are defined. Directional plans provide focus, but they don’t lock managers into specific courses of action or specific objectives.
Specific plans and directional plans have their own advantage and disadvantages. Clarity is the main advantage of specific plans, but when something goes wrong, the plans may create confusion. Flexibility is the main advantage of directional plans. When something goes wrong, other alternatives can be taken as long as they are still heading on the right direction. However, the flexibility of directional plans must be weighed against the loss in clarity provided by specific plans.