What are the requirements of an effective control system?

Any control system should meet certain requirements in order to be effective, which are indicated below:

(1) There should be a match between the type of function and the system of control at all levels of the organisation.

(2) The control system should be sensitive enough to point out deviations from plans immediately so that corrective action can be initiated with little loss of time and before any damage is caused.

(3) The control system should be flexible and forward looking just like the planning system, to enable the organisation and its sub-systems to adapt and adjust their goals and the means of reaching them in turn with the change in the environment i.e., to maintain a sort of dynamic equilibrium.

(4) The control system should focus on strategic and key activity areas or points which are critical to overall performance.

(5) The control system should enable managers to utilise their time and talent most effectively by concentrating on major or exceptional deviations from plans.

(6) The control system should be formal and objective as far as possible, in fairness to those whose performance is monitored, regulated and evaluated. To some extent, quantification of performance standards meets this requirement.

(7) The control system should be consistent with the organisational structure. It should be built into the horizontal activity relationships and vertical authority relationships. In a sense, the organisational structure is a control system, designed to achieve certain pre-determined goals effectively.

(8) Controls are nothing more than means to certain ends. They are not ends in themselves. They should constantly focus on goals to be achieved, on values to be preserved and on interests to be promoted.

(9) The control system should be economical to operate; economy need not however be exercised at the cost of effectiveness. Sometimes, a simple inexpensive control system may match with expensive, highly sophisticated one in terms of effectiveness.

(10) The control system should give due allowance to factors or variables which cannot be controlled but which affect the performance of people.

(11) The control system should be designed to measure and evaluate the diverse dimensions of performance of individuals and activity areas, giving appropriate weightage to all the relevant variables having a bearing on performance: qualitative variables or factors deserve to be taken into consideration, while evaluating performance.

(12) The means adopted to achieve goals should also be kept under watch by the control system, because both means and ends are important.

(13) Finally, the control system should be understandable to those whose performance is sought to be regulated. The requirements of control should be communicated in a simple and straightforward manner to those who are to abide by the system.

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