KEY CONSIDERATIONS IN EACH STEP OF THE CONTROL PROCESS:
1. Establish standards and methods for measuring performance:
Ideally, the objectives and objectives established during the planning process will already be stated I clear, measurable terms that include specific guidelines. In service industries, standards might include the amount of time customers have to wait in line at a bank. the amount of time they have to wait before the telephone is answered, or the number of new clients attracted by a revamped advertising campaign. In an industrial enterprise, standards and measurements could include sales and production targets, work- attendance objectives, waste products produced and recycled, and safety records.
2. Measure the performance:
Like all aspects of control, measurement is an ongoing, repetitive process. The frequency of measurements depends on the type of activity being measured. In a manufacturing plant, levels of gas particles in the air, for example could be continuously be monitored for safety, whereas progress on long-term expansion objectives might need to be reviewed by top management only once or twice a year. Similarly, the franchise owner at a food court might be required to examine customer waiting time on a continual basis. On the other hand, petitions may be put before a public utility commission only five or six times a year. Still, good managers avoid allowing extended periods to pass between performance measurements.
3. Determine whether control performance matches the standard:
In many ways, this is the easiest step in the control process. The complexities presumably have been dealt with in the first two steps. Now it is a matter of comparing measured results with the established targets as standards previously set. If performance matches the standards, managers assume that “everything is under control”
4. Take corrective action:
This step is necessary if performance falls short of standards and the analysis indicates action is required. The corrective action could involve a change in one or more activities of the organization’s operations. e.g. the franchise owner/manager might discover that more counter workers are needed to meet the five-minute customer-waiting standard set by the food court entrepreneurs. On the other hand, controls can (and often do) reveal
inappropriate (too high or too low) standards. Under these circumstances, the corrective action could involve a change in the original standards rather than a change in activity.
Control is a dynamic process-an element of time. Unless managers see the control process through to its conclusion, they are merely monitoring performance rather than exercising control. The emphasis should always be on devising constructive ways to bring performance up to standard, rather than on merely identifying past failures.