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Control Controlling - Elements Steps in the Control Process

square Definition of Control

According to Allen,

"Control means to guide something in the direction it is intended to go."

square Definition of Controlling

According to James Stoner,

"Controlling is the process of ensuring that actual activities conform to the planned activities."

square 5 Steps In Control Process

Five main steps in the control process with diagram are discussed below :-

Steps In Control Process

1. Fixing the Control Standards / Objectives / Targets

A standard is a criterion (base) which is used to measure the performance of the subordinates. Standards may be of two types, i.e. Quantitative Standards and Qualitative Standards.

Quantitative Standard can be easily defined and measured. For e.g. number of products, number of customers, cost, net profit, time limits, etc.

Qualitative Standard cannot be easily defined and measured. For e.g. measurement of morale, measurement of job satisfaction, measurement of effect of a training programme, advertisement programme, etc. It is better to have quantitative standards because they are measurable. However, today there are many new techniques for measuring qualitative standards.

The standards should be as clear as possible. It should be easily understood by both superiors and subordinates. The responsibility of each individual should also be clearly defined i.e. everyone should be responsible for achieving a particular goal, objective, target, etc. For e.g. The marketing department fixes a standard - "We will sell 2,000 units of product X in one month". So here the standard is 2,000 units.

2. Measuring the Actual Performances

After establishing the standards, the subordinates should be provided with all the resources for performing the job. They should be properly directed and motivated to perform the job. Similarly, they should be properly supervised. If the subordinated come under Theory X they require maximum supervision. However, if they come, under Theory Y then they require minimum supervision. After they complete the job their performance should be carefully measured. There are many traditional and modern techniques for measuring the performances of subordinates.

For e.g. After one month, the marketing department sold only 10,000 units of product X. So, their actual performance is only 10,000 units.

3. Comparision

The actual performances of the subordinates are compared with established standards, and then the deviations are found out. The deviations which are found out may be positive or negative.

Positive Deviation means that the actual performances are better than the established standards. Positive deviations should be appreciated.

Negative Deviation means that the actual performance is less than the established standards. The management should pay special attention to the negative deviation. They should find out the causes of negative deviations.

Generally, minor (small) deviations are ignored. However, major deviations should be immediately addressed and reported to the top management. PERT, Budgetary Control, Observation, Inspection, Reports, etc. are some of the methods used for comparison.

For e.g. 10,000 units (Standard) - 9,000 units (Actual Performance) = 1,000 units (Negative Deviation).

4. Corrective Action

After finding out the negative deviations and their causes, the managers should take steps to correct these deviations. Corrective actions should be taken promptly. Corrective action may include, changing the standards, providing better motivation, giving better training, using better machines, etc. The management should take essential steps to prevent these deviations in the future.

For e.g. The cause of the negative deviation was less advertising and untrained salesmen. So, the company must spend reasonable money on advertising and training.

5. Follow-up

After taking corrective action, the management must do a follow-up. Follow-up is done to find out whether the corrective actions are taken properly. It also finds out whether the deviations and their causes are removed. If follow-up is done properly, then the actual performance will be equal to or better than the established standards.

square Articles on Control / Controlling

Read articles on Control / Controlling :-

  1. Requirements of a Good Control System.
  2. Advantages of Controlling.
  3. Techniques of Controlling.


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