Control is a process by which the organization’s management determines whether it is making the right decisions and when it needs to take corrective action.
In project management, control is also a popular practice. In these activities, project managers control project variables and resources. Reference: “Monitoring and controlling program execution”, https://bvop.org/learn/monitoring-controlling-program/
In the beginning, control means some kind of restriction, coercion, lack of independence. But in fact, control is a process that ensures that the goals of the organization are achieved. The control process consists of setting standards, measuring the results achieved, making corrective decisions. The reasons that give rise to the need for control are – uncertainty, warning of crises, maintaining success.
Uncertainty – is related to the impact of environmental factors on the behavior of the organization. As it is not always possible to predict the impact, the organization has to constantly change its strategy, plans, and tasks. Reference: “Monitoring and Controlling in Project management presented with real scenario examples“, https://www.nebraskasocialstudies.org/monitoring-and-controlling-in-project-management-examples/
Warning of crises – they do not occur by accident but have a hidden period of action, after which symptoms appear and only finally the crisis strikes.
Maintaining success – through effective control is assessed which areas of the organization are effective and which are not.
Types of control in the management
The control is preliminary, current, and final. Reference: “Tools and control systems in project management”, https://eduwiki.me/tools-and-control-systems-in-project-management/
The preliminary control is carried out until the actual beginning of the work of the organization. The main means for its implementation is the creation and observance of certain rules, procedures, and lines of conduct. Ex-ante control is used in three main areas: human, material, and financial resources.
In the case of human resources, ex-ante control is reduced to a thorough analysis of business and professional knowledge and habits necessary to perform one or another duty. Reference: “Monitoring and control in project management”, https://managerspost.com/monitoring-and-control-in-project-management/
Also a thorough selection of qualified staff. In the case of material resources, the preliminary control is reduced to the development of standards for the minimum permissible deviation from the quality and factual checks of the incoming materials.
Through this control, it is possible to select the most appropriate supplier and establish minimum allowable stocks in the organization. In the case of financial resources, ex-ante control represents the budget of the organization and its components, as it gives an idea of the financial resources that the organization will have in the future. Reference: “Plan, monitoring and control in project management: Data collection, processing, and analysis”, https://mpmu.org/plan-monitoring-and-control-in-project-management/
Ongoing control is exercised directly in the course of the implementation of the work in the organization on subordinates but does not coincide literally in time with the implementation of the work itself. Rather, it measures the actual results obtained after completing the tasks.
Final control. In the final control, the results obtained are compared with the previously set ones. It has two essential functions, namely – it gives the management information for planning similar plans in the future and supports the motivation of the staff by accurately and objectively measuring the results obtained.
Stages of the control process
The control process is divided into three stages: development of standards and criteria, comparison of real results with standards, and taking the necessary corrective actions.
Development of standards – standards are specific goals that are quantified. They refer to a specific period and are also called performance indicators. They determine what needs to be obtained to reach a pre-formulated goal. Quantitatively can be measured – profit, sales volume, the value of materials.
Comparison of the achieved results with the established standards – at this stage, the following activities are carried out: determining the scale of the deviations, measuring the results, transmitting information, and its evaluation. Reference: “Monitoring and control over the project implementation”, https://wikipedia-lab.org/monitoring-and-control-over-the-project-implementation/
Taking corrective action – in three ways – nothing is done, deviations are removed and standards are revised. Nothing is done when there are no deviations or they are within the tolerances. Deviations are eliminated when they are serious after properly diagnosing the problem that led to them. Standards are revised when they are unrealistic.
People’s behavior is not the only factor that determines the effectiveness of control, it must have some important characteristics such as the strategic focus of control, the orientation of control to results, timeliness of control, flexibility of control, simplicity of control, the cost-effectiveness of control.