Meaning Of Controlling
Controlling is regarded as one of important functions of a manager. It is a function which keeps a check on activities of organisation that they are being performed as per the plans.
It helps in keeping a track on progress in the activities conducted by the organisation. It ensures that the resources possessed by the organisation are being used efficiently and effectively to attain predetermined goals. This function of management is goal-oriented and pervasive as it is required in all fields, at all levels of management and in various types of organisations, be it an educational institution, hospital or a business.
Controlling brings back the cycle of management to planning function by formulating new plans and policies according to the corrective actions takes up previously. The meaning of controlling lies in its importance also as it is an indispensable function of management.
Controlling helps in accomplishing organisational goals by keeping a check on the path which is taken up by the organisation and suggesting any changes if needed to be done. It ensures that the way adopted should not deviate from the objective of attaining goals.
Standards are a set of predetermined rules and regulations to be followed so as to achieve targets set. Controlling helps in estimating the accuracy of these standards that whether they are feasible or not. The managers should keep a record of changes in the internal organisation and external surroundings to revise standards if required in light of such changes.
It helps to reduce wastage and spoilage of resources.
Setting of performance appraisal criterias and awareness of it to the employee help them work according to predetermined standards and norms and thus improves employee motivation.
It creates an aura of order and discipline in the organisation. It helps to minimise wrong behaviour on part of employees as well as the management.
Overall controlling helps in enforcement of coordination between various departments and wings as they seek to work on the criteria set for them and ensures achievement of organisational objectives.
Relationship between Planning and Controlling
Planning and controlling are those two functions of management which are inseparable.
Planning without controlling is useless.
Controlling without planning is blind.
Once a plan becomes operational, the need for the controlling arises. The meaning of Controlling lies in monitoring the progress, measuring it, and ensuring that it conform to plans. Planning seeks consistent na integrated formulation of programmes and policies and controlling seeks to compel events to conform to plans. Controlling checks whether decisions have been translated into desired action. Planning is descriptive whereas controlling is evaluative.
Both are interdependent as planning based on facts and experiences makes controlling easier, and controlling improves future planning and implementation.
Process of Controlling
The meaning of Controlling can be understood easily by following the steps in its process.
Beginning with setting of performance standards and norms as the first step of controlling process, they serve as the benchmarks towards which an organisation strives to work. Standards can be set in both quantitative and qualitative terms. It should be ensured that standards are flexible so that they could be modified when required catering to changes in business environment.
The second step is the measurement of actual performance in objective and reliable manner. There are several traditional as well as modern techniques to measure the performance. It is believed that measurement should be done once the task is completed else there are chances of errors. Measurement of performance of an employee may require preparation and maintenance of report by his superior. It should be done in specific intervals to compare the increse or decrease in ability over time.
The evaluation lies in the next step that is comparison of actual performance measured in step 2 with the standards set. It will reveal the deviation between actual and desired results. It becomes easier to compare when standards are set in quantitative terms.
The next step is to do the analysis of deviations caused due to difference between actual and expected performance. But, the deviations in the acceptable range should be given more importance.
The deviations in Key Result Areas (KRA’s) of business should be considered significant. Critical point control and management by exception should be considered by a manager in this context.
Critical point control focus on deviations in KRA’s. If anything goes unexpected at critical points ,it should be paid due attention, so that the organisation could be saved from suffering.
Managment by Exception is based on belief that controlling everything might end up controlling nothing. Thus, only important deviations which go beyond certain limit should be brought to the notice of management. Deviations can occur because of many reasons. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the exact cause and take the most appropriate corrective action.
The final step in process of controlling is to take the desired corrective action. When the deviations go beyond permissible limits, it demands managerial attention. It may involve training of employees pertaining to a certain technology, revising the schedule, installing additional plants etc. The manager has to do a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) before taking some corrective action.