A manager is a person who seeks to achieve organizational goals through other people. One way in which a manager can achieve this objective is through effective and efficient control system

Characteristics of an effective and efficient control system

a) Clear-cut purpose
The task of control is to ensure that plans succeed by detecting deviations from plans and furnishing a basis for taking action to correct potential or actual undesired deviations.

b) Future-oriented
Owing to the time lags in the total system of control, the more a control system is based on feed forward rather than simple feedback of information, the more managers have the opportunity to perceive undesirable deviations from plans before they occur and to take action in time to prevent them.

c) Control responsibility
The primary responsibility for the exercise of control rests in the manager charged with the performance of the particular plans involved. Since delegation of authority, assignment of tasks, and responsibility for certain objectives rest in individual managers, it follows that control over this work should be exercised by each of these managers. An individual manager’s responsibility cannot be waived or rescinded without changes in the organization structure.

d) Cost Benefits
Control techniques and approaches are efficient if they detect and illuminate the nature and causes of deviations from plans with a minimum of costs or other unsought consequences.
Control techniques have a way of becoming costly, complex and burdensome. Managers may become so engrossed in control that they spend more than it is worth to detect a deviation.

e) Preventive nature
Focus should be more on prevention rather than the correction of the negative aspects of the system.

f) Standardized
Effective control requires objective, accurate, and suitable standards. There should be a simple, specific and verifiable way to measure whether a planning program is being accomplished.

g) Flexible
If controls are to remain effective despite failure or unforeseen changes of plans, flexibility is required in their design.

h) Exceptional
The more that managers concentrate control efforts on significant exceptions, the more efficient will be the results of their control.

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