Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.
Planning involves the creation and maintenance of a plan. As such, planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans; that is, it combines forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them.
An important, albeit often ignored aspect of planning, is the relationship it holds with forecasting. Forecasting can be described as predicting what the future will look like, whereas planning predicts what the future should look like. The counterpart to planning is spontaneous order.