10 Essentials of Effective Control System

Essentials of Effective Control System

Control is necessary in every organization to ensure that everything is going properly. Every manager, therefore, should have an effective and adequate control system to assist him in making sure that events conform to plans.

However, control does not work automatically, but it requires a certain design. While the basic, principles involved in designing a control system in organizations may be universal; the actual system in an organization requires some specific design.

In this tailoring of the Control system, there are certain requirements, which should be kept in mind. These are the essentials of an effective control system in management:

  1. Reflecting Organizational Needs
  2. Forward-Looking
  3. Promptness in Reporting Deviation
  4. Pointing out Exceptions at Critical Points
  5. Set Objectives
  6. Flexible
  7. Economical
  8. Simple
  9. Motivating
  10. Reflecting Organizational Pattern

Reflecting Organizational Needs

All control systems and techniques should reflect the jobs they are to perform. There may be several control techniques, which have general applicability, such as budgeting, costing, etc.

However, it should not be assumed that these might be utilized in all situations. The- managers should choose an appropriate tool for control, which helps them in controlling actions according to plans.


Control should be forward-looking. Though many of the controls are instantaneous, they must focus attention on how future actions can be confirmed with plans.

In fact, the control system should be such that it provides aid in the planning process. This is done in two ways: it draws situations where new planning is needed, and it provides some of the data upon which plans can be based.

Promptness in Reporting Deviation

The success of a thermostat lies in the fact that it points to the deviation promptly and takes corrective actions immediately. Similarly, an ideal control system detects deviations promptly arid informs the manager concerned to take timely actions. This is done through designing good appraisal and information systems.

Pointing out Exceptions at Critical Points

Control should point exceptions at critical points and suggest whether action is to be taken for deviations or not Some deviations in the organizations have any impact while others, though very little in quantity may have great significance.

Thus, the control system should provide ‘information for critical point control and control on exceptions. The critical point control stresses that effective control requires attention to those factors critical to appraising performance against an individual plan.

The control on exception requires that a manager should take corrective action when there is exceptional deviation. The more a manager concentrates his control efforts on exceptions, the more efficient will be the results of his control.

Set Objectives

The control should be objective, definite, and determinable in a clear and positive way. The standards of measurement should be quantified as far as possible. If they are not quantifiable, such as training effectiveness, etc. they must be determinable and verifiable.

If the performance standard and measurement are not easily determinable, many subjective elements enter into the process, which catches the controller and controls wrong tooting.


The control system should be flexible so that it remains workable in the case of changed plans, unforeseen circumstances, or outright failures. As Geotz has remarked, a control system should report such failures and should contain sufficient elements of flexibility to maintain managerial control of operations despite such failures.

Having alternative plans for various probable situations can provide much flexibility in control. In fact, flexible control is normally achieved through flexible plans.


Control should be economical and must be worth its costs. The economy is relative since the benefits vary with the importance of the activity the size of the operation, the expense that might be incurred in the absence of control, and the contribution the control system can make.

The economy of a control system will depend a great deal on the manager’s selecting for control only critical factors in areas important to him. If tailored to the job and the size of the enterprise, control will be economical.

A large-sized organization can afford highly complicated techniques, sophisticated tools of control, and a more elaborate system of control, but a small-sized organization cannot afford these because of the cost factor.


The control system must be simple and understandable so that all managers can use it effectively. Control techniques that are complicated such as complex mathematical formulae, charts, graphs, advanced statistical methods, and other techniques fail to communicate the meaning of their control data to the managers who use them.

Effective control requires consistency with the position, operational responsibility, ability to understand, and needs of the individuals concerned.


The control system should motivate both the controller and control. While planning and control are necessary for economic operations, researches in human relations show that planning and control are, more often than not, antagonistic to good human relations.

Sometimes, they may even tend to deprive the people in the organizations of one of man’s basic needs – a sense of powerful and worthwhile accomplishment The design of the control system should be such that aims at motivating people by fulfilling their needs.

Reflecting Organizational Pattern

The control should reflect organizational patterns by focusing attention on positions in the organization structure through which deviations are corrected. Organizational structure, a principal vehicle for coordinating the work of people, is also a major means of maintaining control.

Thus, in every area of control, it is not enough to know that things are going wrong unless it is known wherein the organization structures the deviations that are occurring. This enables managers to fix up the responsibility and take corrective actions.

FAQs Section

What is the effective control system?

Reflecting Organizational Needs, being Forward-Looking, Promptness in Reporting Deviation, Pointing out Exceptions at Critical Points, Set Objectives, Flexible, Economical, Simple, Motivating, and Reflecting Organizational Patterns are the essentials of an effective control system.

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