Rules are rigid and definite plans that specify what is to be done or not done in given situations. A rule provides no scope for discretion and judgment. It is a specific or prescribed guide to conduct or action. No deviation is expected from the rule.
A rule may or may not be a part of a procedure. Rules require or prohibit a specific action or behavior. The rule ‘no smoking in the factory’ is not a part of any procedure. But the rule that all orders must be acknowledged within 48 hours of their receipt is a part of the procedure for processing orders.
A rule generally lays down penalty for its violation. Rules help to regulate behavior and to facilitate communication. They facilitate uniformity of action and avoid the need for repeated approval from higher levels for routine matters.
Rules should be differentiated from policies though both are standing plans. A policy is a guide to thinking and decision making while a rule is a guide to action. Secondly, policy is a flexible plan which provides room for discretion.
On the other hand, a rule is a rigid plan and leaves no scope for discretion or deviation. Thirdly, a rule is much more specific than a policy. Fourthly, a rule maybe a part of a procedure while policy is never a part of a procedure,
A policy lays down overall boundary for decisions whereas a rule states what should or should not be done in a given situation. A rule provides for penal action for its violation but no penalty is laid down in a policy. Policies are broader than rules.
A programmer is a concrete scheme of action designed to accomplish a given task. According to Allen, a programme is a sequence of activities designed to implement policies and accomplish objectives. It is worked out as per the guidelines indicated by formulated policies.
A well-conceived programme covers all actions needed to achieve a specific goal and it shows who does what and when. It specifies the steps to be taken, resources to be used, time limits for each step and assignments of task.
It is a sequence of action steps arranged in the priority necessary to implement a policy and achieve an objective. A programme is thus a complex of objectives, policies, and procedures.
It defines the contents and scope of activities. Programmes are prepared for various activities e.g., development of a new product, training of employees, purchase of machinery, issue of securities, etc. Programmes help to ensure economy and uniformity in day-to-day operations.
Programmes may be major or minor. All planning activities culminate in drawing up a programme for action. In other words, programme is the end product of the planning process.
A budget is a statement of expected results expressed in numerical, terms for a definite period of time in the future. It expresses a plan in precise terms. Budgets serve as means-of coordination and control.
They provide clarity, direction and purpose in the activities of an organization by laying down verifiable and measurable goals for a specific period of time.
Budgeting coordinates the activities of different departments by adjusting departmental budgets into the master budget. Budgets serve as standards of measuring actual performance.
Budgets may be prepared for various groups of activities, e.g., production, sales, personnel, capital outlay, advertising, finance, cash, etc.