What is Controlling Process in Management?

In the dynamic world of business, effective management is crucial for success. One fundamental aspect of management is the controlling process, which plays a vital role in achieving organizational goals. Controlling is the process of monitoring and evaluating performance, ensuring that it aligns with established objectives.

By implementing a systematic approach to controlling, managers are able to identify deviations from plans and take corrective actions accordingly. This process involves setting performance standards, measuring actual performance, comparing it with the standards, and then taking necessary actions to bridge any gaps. Controlling provides managers with valuable insights into the overall functioning of their teams, departments, or organizations, enabling them to make informed decisions and improve performance.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the controlling process in management, exploring its significance, components, and best practices to enhance organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Whether you are a seasoned manager or just starting on your managerial journey, understanding the controlling process is essential for orchestrating success in the ever-evolving business landscape.

💡 Features of a Good Control System:

 Suitable: A good control system should be suitable for the needs and nature of the organisation.

 Simple: A good controlling system should be easy to operate and understand.

 Economical: The cost of setting, implementing, and maintaining a control system should not be more than the benefits gained from it.

 Flexible: A good control system should have the ability to adjust according to the changing business environment and internal conditions. 

Forward Looking: A good control system should move in a forward direction so that the managers can easily determine the deviations before they actually happen in the organisation.

 Objective: The standards of the organisation, its measurement of performance, and corrective actions should be impersonal and objective. 

 Management by exception: A good control system should focus its attention on the significant deviations which are crucial for the organisation, instead of looking for the deviation which does not have much impact on the business. 


Importance of the controlling process

The controlling process in management holds significant importance in ensuring the smooth functioning and success of an organization. It serves as a crucial tool for managers to monitor and evaluate the performance of their teams, departments, or organizations. One of the key benefits of controlling is that it enables managers to identify any deviations from plans or objectives. This allows them to take corrective actions promptly, thus minimizing the impact of any potential issues or risks. By implementing an effective controlling process, managers can ensure that resources are utilized optimally, productivity is maximized, and goals are achieved efficiently. Furthermore, controlling provides managers with valuable feedback and insights into the overall functioning of their teams, enabling them to make informed decisions and improve performance. Overall, the controlling process is vital for maintaining organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and competitiveness in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Key components of the controlling process

The controlling process consists of several key components that work together to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of performance. These components are interrelated and form a systematic approach to controlling within an organization.

Setting performance standards

The first component of the controlling process is setting performance standards. Performance standards are benchmarks or targets that define the desired level of performance for a specific activity or task. These standards can be quantitative, such as sales targets or production quotas, or qualitative, such as customer satisfaction ratings or quality standards. By setting clear and measurable performance standards, managers provide a reference point against which actual performance can be measured and evaluated.

Measuring and monitoring performance

Once performance standards are set, the next step in the controlling process is measuring and monitoring performance. This involves gathering relevant data and information to assess how well individuals, teams, or departments are performing in relation to the established standards. Measurement can be done through various methods, such as quantitative data analysis, performance evaluations, customer feedback, or employee surveys. Regular monitoring ensures that performance is continuously tracked, allowing managers to identify any deviations or areas of improvement in a timely manner.

Comparing actual performance with standards

After measuring and monitoring performance, the next step is to compare the actual performance with the established standards. This comparison helps managers identify any gaps or variances between the desired and actual performance levels. By analyzing these variances, managers can gain insights into the reasons behind the deviations and determine whether they are acceptable or require corrective actions. The comparison also provides a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of existing strategies, processes, or systems, and helps identify areas for improvement.

Taking corrective actions

The final component of the controlling process is taking corrective actions. Once deviations from the established standards are identified, managers need to take appropriate actions to bridge the gaps and ensure that performance is brought back on track. Corrective actions can include revising strategies, reallocating resources, providing additional training or support, implementing process improvements, or making organizational changes. It is essential for managers to take timely and effective corrective actions to prevent further deviations and maintain performance at the desired level.

Tools and techniques for effective control

To facilitate the controlling process, managers can leverage various tools and techniques. These tools help in collecting and analyzing data, monitoring performance, and identifying areas for improvement. Some commonly used tools and techniques for effective control include:

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are specific metrics that reflect the performance of a particular process, department, or organization. KPIs provide managers with a clear and measurable way to evaluate performance against predefined targets. By tracking KPIs regularly, managers can quickly identify any areas that require attention and take appropriate actions to improve performance.

Management information systems (MIS)

Management information systems (MIS) are computer-based systems that collect, store, and analyze data for decision-making purposes. MIS provide managers with real-time and accurate information about various aspects of the organization, such as sales, inventory, production, or financial performance. By utilizing MIS, managers can easily access relevant data and information, enabling them to make informed decisions and take timely actions.

Balanced scorecard

The balanced scorecard is a strategic performance management tool that measures and manages performance across multiple dimensions. It provides a balanced view of performance by considering financial, customer, internal process, and learning and growth perspectives. The balanced scorecard helps managers align performance with organizational objectives and enables them to focus on both short-term and long-term goals.

Statistical process control (SPC)

Statistical process control (SPC) is a statistical technique used to monitor and control processes to ensure they operate within predefined limits. SPC involves analyzing process data to identify any variations or trends that may affect performance. By using SPC, managers can identify potential issues or risks early on and take preventive actions to maintain process stability and quality.

Challenges in the controlling process

While the controlling process is essential for effective management, it is not without its challenges. Managers may face several obstacles when implementing and maintaining a robust controlling process. Some common challenges include:

Lack of accurate and timely data

One of the primary challenges in the controlling process is the availability of accurate and timely data. Without reliable data, managers may struggle to measure and monitor performance effectively. It is crucial for organizations to establish robust data collection and reporting mechanisms to ensure that managers have access to the necessary information for decision-making and control.

Resistance to change

Implementing a controlling process often requires changes in existing systems, processes, or behaviors. Resistance to change from employees or other stakeholders can hinder the effectiveness of the controlling process. Managers need to address resistance and communicate the benefits of the controlling process to gain buy-in and support from all involved parties.

Overemphasis on control

While control is essential, excessive control can lead to micromanagement and demotivation among employees. Managers need to strike a balance between control and autonomy to ensure that employees feel empowered and motivated to perform at their best. A collaborative and supportive approach to control is crucial for maintaining a positive work environment.

Examples of successful controlling processes

Many organizations have successfully implemented effective controlling processes to drive performance and achieve their goals. One such example is Toyota’s production system, which incorporates a comprehensive control mechanism known as “just-in-time” (JIT) inventory management. JIT relies on close monitoring of inventory levels and production processes to minimize waste and maximize efficiency. By implementing JIT, Toyota has been able to significantly reduce inventory costs and improve overall productivity.

Another example is Amazon’s control over its logistics and delivery operations. Through the use of advanced data analytics and real-time monitoring systems, Amazon ensures that its delivery processes are efficient and customer-centric. By constantly monitoring and optimizing delivery performance, Amazon has been able to provide fast and reliable service, contributing to its success as a leading e-commerce company.


The controlling process in management is a fundamental aspect of effective organizational management. It enables managers to monitor, evaluate, and improve performance, ensuring that it aligns with established objectives. By setting performance standards, measuring actual performance, comparing it with the standards, and taking corrective actions, managers can maintain organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Implementing tools and techniques, such as KPIs, MIS, balanced scorecards, and SPC, can enhance the effectiveness of the controlling process. However, managers may face challenges, such as data availability and resistance to change, which need to be addressed to achieve successful control. By learning from successful examples, organizations can develop robust controlling processes that drive performance and contribute to their overall success in the dynamic business landscape.