CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE CONTROL SYSTEMS Effective control systems have certain characteristics.

For a control system to be effective, it must be: 1. Accurate. Information on performance must be accurate. Evaluating the accuracy of the information they receive is one of the most important control tasks that managers face. 2. Timely. Information must be collected, routed, and evaluated quickly if action is to be taken in time to produce improvements. 3. Objective and Comprehensible. The information in a control system should be understandable and be seen as objective by the individuals who use it. 4. Focused on Strategic Control Points. The control system should be focused on those areas where deviations from the standards are most likely to take place or where deviations would lead to the greatest harm. 5. Economically Realistic. The cost of implementing a control system should be less than, or at most equal to, the benefits derived from the control system. 6. Organizational Realistic. The control system has to be compatible with organizational realities and all standards for performance must be realistic. 7. Coordinated with the Organization's Work Flow. Control information needs to be coordinated with the flow of work through the organization for two reasons: (1) each step in the work process may affect the success or failure of the entire operation, (2) the control information must get to all the people who need to receive it. 8. Flexible. Controls must have flexibility built into them so that the organizations can react quickly to overcome adverse changes or to take advantage of new opportunities. 9. Prescriptive and Operational. Control systems ought to indicate, upon the detection of the deviation from standards, what corrective action should be taken. 10. Accepted by Organization Members. These characteristics can be applied to controls at all levels of the organization. Objectives of control and review y y y y The final stage in strategic management is strategy evaluation and control. All strategies are subject to future modification because internal and external factors are constantly changing. In the strategy evaluation and control process managers determine whether the chosen strategy is achieving the organization's objectives. The fundamental strategy evaluation and control activities are: reviewing internal and external factors that are the bases for current strategies, measuring performance, and taking corrective actions.

Implications for Controlling Formal Plans
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Contingency plans are less possible in strategic control. The whole idea of contingency plans is much more difficult in the strategic arena. It is more difficult to generate all possible actions ahead of time in a strategic problem, because the alternatives are too numerous and too complex. Triggering contingency planning is more important in strategic control. Because of this difficulty in making contingency plans, triggering an examination of alternatives when things do not go according to plan becomes much more important. Preprogrammed variance analysis is less possible in strategic control. For an operational control model might be possible that the computer performs all possible variance analyses (in the accounting sense). For strategic control it is both difficult technically and impossible practically. A variance inquiry system is more necessary in strategic control. It seems important to have an inquiry system linked to the formal planning model with which combinations of deviations from plans can be explored by the human operator. A variance inquiry language is more necessary in strategic control. Some sort of language in which the human can do variance inquiries is highly desirable in the area of strategic control. An augmented formal planning system in more necessary in strategic control. A formal planning system should be augmented with the variance inquiry language described. This would permit the same system that was used to generate the plan to be used in controlling that plan, leading to both ease of additional analysis as well, as to consistency with the plan being controlling. Strategic Control Process

Regardless of the type or levels of control systems an organization needs, control may be depicted as a six-step feedback model): 1. Determine what to control. What are the objectives the organization hopes to accomplish? 2. Set control standards. What are the targets and tolerances? 3. Measure performance. What are the actual standards? 4. Compare the performance the performance to the standards. How well does the actual match the plan? 5. Determine the reasons for the deviations. Are the deviations due to internal shortcomings or due to external changes beyond the control of the organization? 6. Take corrective action. Are corrections needed in internal activities to correct organizational shortcomings, or are changes needed in objectives due to external events? Feedback from evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy may influence many of other phases on the strategic management process.

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