How To Control For Effective Management – Part 1

Controlling is the work a manager performs to assess and regulate work in progress and to assess the results secured. It is measuring progress toward objectives, evaluating what needs to be done, and then taking corrective action to achieve or exceed objectives. The activities of controlling are the following:

1. Developing performance standards;

2. Developing required values and attitudes;

3. Measuring performance and results;

4. Evaluating performance and results;

5. Taking corrective actions;

6. Rewarding good performance.

Types of Control

A good control looks to the present and future rather than simply recording the past. There are different types of control. They are the following:

1. Control by Inspection: This is done when the manager must see the work himself. Deficiencies can be corrected rapidly. This method works only for short term, can limit initiative, and can fail as organization grows.

2. Control by Exception: The manager sets standards and lets subordinates evaluate their own work. This is the management leader approach, but it can be risky in some situations.

Controls are important because they ensure satisfactory performance and results, facilitate delegation because one can safely delegate only what one can control, and give people an opportunity to command their own destiny within agreed-upon limit.

Principles of Controlling

Control is the regulation of activities in accordance to a prescribed plan created to achieve an objective. It is the assessing of the work in progress and evaluating the finished work.

There are three principles that can help the manager in his controlling duties. The three principles are the following:

1) Principle of the Critical Few: “In any given unit of instances, a few number of causes tend to give rise to the biggest section of results.”

2) Principle of Point of Control: “The greatest capacity for control takes place at the point when action occurs.”

3) Principle of Self-Control: “Self-control is more likely to be the most viable control.”

Guidelines for Control

Controlling is the management and correction of the performance of people in order to make sure that organizational objectives and the plans devised to attain them are accomplished.

Using the Management by Exception Principle means that no management action is taken when feedback indicates that all is well. When a problem is indicated or a deviation registered, control actions are taken to identify the cause of the problem and return the system to normal.

The characteristics of an effective control are understandability, conformance to organizational patterns, timeless, quick identification of deviations, flexibility and appropriateness, adequacy and economy.

The following are some guidelines for control:

1. Develop standards and keep an eye on primary objectives.

2. Concentrate on key problems and opportunities.

3. Get feedback and have a regular meeting with key people to measure, evaluate, and correct the performance of employees.

4. Evaluate information before acting.

5. Use a control method that has minimum dependence on you. Rely on the exception principle.

6. When control is necessary, take action immediately.

7. Discipline employees by defining measurable standards for each of them in terms of quantity and quality of performance.

8. Make sure each measurable standard is meaningful enough to stimulate control action.

9. Determine who will do what and when to measure performance effectively and economically.

10. Determine how your standards will be maintained.

Quality Controlling

Producing and Measuring Quality

Quality Defined. Quality can be defined only in terms of the desired characteristics of the article or service. From this standpoint, quality is the sum of a number of desired-related characteristics such as shape, dimensions, composition, strength, workmanship, adjustment, finish, and color. The essential element in quality is not cost but conformity to established standards. The measure of quality is the standard set for the product. Any deviation from this standard is a variation in quality but is not a true gauge from the manufacturing standpoint. Standards of quality are norms to be achieved and absolute quality as a standard is attainable only at great expense. Relative standards or standards with acceptable deviations are the measures of commercial quality. The aim of production is to attain the “bull's-eye” of the standard, not the outer ring of tolerance. The supervisor who is interested only in keeping within the tolerances will have far more complaints in his department than the supervisor whose men strive to meet the specified standard.

Quality control, to most operating persons, means the same as inspecting to see that quality standards are met. To some persons, quality control refers to the use of statistical devices for charting actual quality as determined by inspection. It is the activities associated with these techniques. The statistical quality control function may be a separate unit from actual inspection; it may be, in a very few cases, the big division of which inspection is a department; or it may be a department of the inspection division reporting to the director of inspection.

Who establishes standards for quality? The engineering department establishes standards of production, supported by the advice and recommendations of the sales, purchasing, and manufacturing departments. The purchasing department advises the engineering department regarding the practicability of a given standard for materials or purchased parts. The manufacturing department assists the engineering department with data on the possibility of producing the desired quality at a given cost. Although the engineering department establishes the quality standards, it must rely on the facts it develops in the laboratory, plus the information available to it on materials, production methods, production costs, and available equipment to reach its conclusions. In the long run the consuming public, by its approval in buying or by its refusal to buy, sets the standards for commercial quality. The sales department, the part of the organization closest to the consumer, recognizes and interprets the consumers' desires and passes them on to the engineering department.

Whose responsibility is quality? Within his department the manager is responsible for producing and measuring quality. In a line-and-staff organization the manager is aided by his assistants, his set-up men, his machine operators, and others, each responsible in his respective sphere, but all answerable to the manager.

In many organizations, staff departments, such as inspection and engineering, also assist the manager and may even exercise functional control over the quality of the work of his department. These staff supervision and assistance do not relieve the manager of his responsibility for quality, but merely serve to assist him in meeting it.

The manager alone cannot control or produce the quality desired from a department; only through the cooperation of his men can quality be met and standards maintained. The manager is responsible for cooperation, instruction, planning, leadership, and safety, which all play an integral part in producing, measuring, and maintaining quality standards.

The pride that develops from men and their machines, meeting quality standards in terms of thousandths of an inch and holding these standards in producing large quantities can be as intense and as great a factor in building morale as any pride growing out of individual craftsmanship. The ability of men to control machines through the use of precision tools and measuring devices deserves the same praise as the ability of men to construct by hand an entire product. The manager can develop pride in this type of craftsmanship among his men if he handles them properly and he can turn this sort of pride into a morale-building tool. Pride in quality maintenance in mass-production industries usually accompanies pride in the company, pride in the membership of the department, and loyalty to the dynamic leadership of managers.

The production manager should be quality-conscious. He must be able to produce and measure quality in his department. This means he must make his men quality-conscious by instilling in them a pride in producing and maintaining quality.

Quality maintenance is made up of the function of the materials used, the accuracy of the machines, and the performance of the worker. If the equipment is defective it is the manager's responsibility to shut it down and to have the machinery repaired, or failing in this, to take the matter up with his superior for further instructions. This last, step is important since the superior, in turn, is, held responsible for the standards of quality by the persons above him. When equipment in the supervisor's department is inactive for a long time he is holding up a sequence of operations which precede and follow the work of his department. In mass production industries, machine troubles and delays in a single department can quickly cause production delays throughout the entire plant. If the materials the supervisor receives are defective, it is again his duty to report the facts immediately to his superior as well as to the inspection department. More labor or time may be utilized, but this does not excuse the manager from meeting and maintaining the established standards.

The organizational structure will determine whether or not the special function of quality-measuring inspection is set up in a separate unit. Where quality standards are relatively easy to meet and of minor importance, the inspection group may report to the supervisor. Where quality standards are relatively difficult to attain, a separate inspection department should measure quality. In an organization where quality is vital, and this includes nearly all mass production industries following the principles of specialization and interchangeable parts, the inspection department should report to the general superintendent or general manager. The foreman or his representatives measure quality in most operations as part of their production responsibilities. The operator can be helpful in measuring the quality of work he does, but in the final analysis it is the manager who is held responsible for meeting production's standards. The manager must be certain that machine operators are trained to measure quality.

Types of Inspection

With a full realization that there may be overlapping in any classification of inspection, the following kinds of inspection exist:

1. Remedial and preventive inspection.

2. Centralized, floor, or a combination of centralized and floor inspection.

3. Materials, work-in-process, finished product or final inspection, and functional inspection.

4. Visual and non-vision inspection such as chemical composition, tensile strength, and ductility.

Remedial inspection lays its major emphasis upon catching defects that have already occurred, thus protecting the good name of the company. Remedial inspection or corrective inspection strives to filter the good from the bad. Remedial inspection, of course, does not preclude the repair of a defective part or product.

Preventive inspection gives special attention to the accuracy of different processes in order to avoid defects and waste. Preventive or constructive inspection emphasizes the positive attitude rather than the negative. Constructive inspection strives to aid the construction group to produce only those items that meet standard specifications. Corrective inspection catches parts that are defective, and the employee who is on an incentive wage plan is usually required to repair them. He is not paid for them if they must be scrapped. Preventive inspection often is used in connection with a special incentive for quality achievement. The major difference between the two types of inspection is the emphasis of one on catching defects that have been produced and the other upon preventing their occurrence.

In centralized inspection the item is not inspected on the production floor but in a separate place set aside for inspection. Centralized inspection does not imply only one place for inspection. Centralized inspection carries the principle of specialization somewhat further than the floor inspection. Advantages claimed for centralized inspection are:

1. There should be less interference with the workers in production and better shop housekeeping when the products are not held at the work place for inspection.

2. The inspector's output should be greater because of better working surroundings, less interference, and increased speed arising from specialization.

3. It is easier to supervise the inspectors; their tasks may be subdivided and a less skilled type of worker may be used.

4. Production control is facilitated when parts pass through a central location, where a total count of approvals and rejections is made.

5. Records of approved and rejected parts, together with the source of each, are more readily kept under centralized inspection.

6. Centralized inspection facilitate the use of specialized and delicate equipment, such as X-rays, radio amplification, special lights, and air-conditioning.

7. Centralized inspection produces more impartial inspection; at least the inspector is not under the strain of rejecting the work of a man with whom he is in personal contact.

Centralized inspection tends to increase the amount of transporting material except where the inspection is performed in the store's department or stockroom. It is also apparent that centralized inspection is not feasible in progressive manufacturing, at least for the parts, although the final product may be centrally inspected.

Floor inspection is the term applied to the inspecting of items on the floor at the point of production adjacent to the place of production. The inspector may remain in one place or go from place to place to inspect as a “roving inspector.”

Material inspection usually refers to inspecting material received from a supplier or it may refer to the inspection of material before use. Finished product inspection refers to inspecting the product after it is finished or before shipping. Work-in-process inspection is carried on either as floor inspection or as centralized inspection.

Statistical quality control charts are valuable tools to aid the supervisor in detecting troubles before they get out of hand. These charts may be operated by the quality control group but the foreman should make use of them as an aid in supervision.

Engineering inspection refers to the inspection after the product is finished to see if it meets specifications. Certain types of products, such as large machinery units, are completely fabricated on the assembly or erection floor and accurately tested by technical experts to determine their operating characteristics. Heavy equipment, turbines, generators, etc., are tested in this manner. Functional inspection is conducted by placing the part or assembly in a skeleton assembly as desired. Visual inspection, as the term implies, merely means inspection by vision for color, contour, roughness, or any other characteristic that can be checked by sight.

Continue to Part 2

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