Essentials of a Good Control System


The following are broad considerations which are essential to have an effective control system:

1.                           Suitability. The nature and need of the activity will help in determining a good system of control. Controls in a production department will be different from those used in marketing departments. Control for the production manager will be different from control for a supervisor.

2.                           Prompt reporting. If there are any deviations from the plans and standards, they must be reported promptly and immediately.

3.                           Forward looking. A good control system should avoid the possibility of getting similar deviations in future. All potential deviations should be corrected.

4.                           Focus on strategic points. A good system of control not only points out the deviations or exceptions but also pinpoints where they are vital or strategic.

5.                           Flexible. A good control system should remain workable even when the plans are changed or standards are altered.

6.                           Objective. To have effective control, there should be objective, precise and suitable standards. They should be definite and determinable.

7.                           Economical. The cost of installation and operation of a control system should be justified by its benefits.

8.                           Understandable. A control system should be clear and easily understandable to the people who will use it, so that control becomes easy, smooth and meaningful.

9.                           Remedial action. A good control system not only detects deviation, but also suggests practical corrective action. Koontz and O’Donnell state that an adequate system of control should disclose where failures are occurring, who is responsible for them and what should be done about them.

10.                       Human factor. A good control system should be worker-centred rather than work-centered. Accountability for major deviations and assistance for improvement should be organized.

To conclude: planning is the basis of control, action is essence, delegation is the key; and information is the guide.