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