After understanding the role of control systems in management and how various Control Systems influence the organizational operations, the next term is the control process that is completely associated with the control system as every control system operates through an ultimate and preplanned control process. When talking about controlling as a management function, definitely it is one of the most leading and necessary management functions of POLCA which is known for the most effective management. In simple words, the control system is a pre-designed mechanism with the aim to achieve organizational goals and meet certain challenges.
Forms of Control Process
In order to keep focus on a specific set of goals for different departments/units of an organization, the controlling process is divided into three main forms. Those forms are strategic, tactical, and operational. All of the three forms are precisely elaborated below.
1. Strategic Control
The strategic control covers critical sectors of an organization and involves maintaining and monitoring of such critical organizational environmental factors that possess direct influence and may affect the capabilities of strategic plans. Besides, examining possible effects that are output of strategic actions and making sure that strategic plans are implemented as planned also lay under strategic control. Typically, strategic control can be termed as a body of top-level managers who must analyze and check whether core competencies are maintained and developed.
2. Tactical Control
The main concentration in the tactical control stays on examining the implementation of tactical plans at the medium level or department level along with monitoring related results and taking appropriate and firm actions when required. Usually, tactical control is the concern of middle managers, but sometimes when things go out of control, then top-level managers get involved. While on the other hand, the control involves weekly and monthly reporting cycles and department-level objectives as well.
3. Operational Control
The operating control focuses on positive implementation of operating plans, managing daily results and making correct decision as well as taking certain appropriate actions when needed. It comes under the responsibilities of low-level managers and thus it becomes the control with day to day process. The primary concern of the control is on individual schedules, budgets, rules and particular outcomes. In order to keep the control in an effective and smoothly working condition, it is necessary to keep the control and above mentioned forms of control in accordance with one another.
The Control Process
Controlling is the main structure of the entire organization, so hopefully, the control process must be as strict as possible. The primary process that is used for controlling covers a few major steps that are defined below.
01- It is necessary for any organization to determine the areas to be controlled. Besides, it is also illogical to control every aspect of the organization. Simply, controlling every major aspect would be enough and before controlling it, the managers should determine the areas. Major areas to control are those that were considered as organizational objectives and goals while performing planning process.
02- The next step of the control process is to develop organizational standards for employees in order to evaluate performance and behaviors of the employees. Standard spell out particular criteria for evaluating above mentioned factors. There are three main purposes served by the standards development that are related to the employee’s behavior. At first, standards help employees recognize their basic job responsibilities and expected work as well as how their performance will be evaluated. Second, Standards help to detect job difficulties that are associated with personal limitations. Third, standards facilitate reduce the negative effects due to goal incongruence.
03- The third step of the control process is to make a firm decision regarding when and how to measure the performance on the basis of prepared standards. To measure the performance, Management by Objective is a well known approach. Many top organizations use a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches to measure performance. At last, the period of the performance depends on three main factors such as the importance of the goal, often possible change in the situation and difficulty to solve certain problems.
04- This step of the control process involves the comparison of the performance with the standards. There are two approaches used for this purpose, i.e. Management by Exception and 360-degree feedback system. Besides, most of the managers compare performance and standards by using personal observations.