Monitor Control

Identifying the Factors to Monitor

A basic rule is to monitor those aspects of the business that are most critical in fulfilling the managers’ long term goals.  In selecting which factors to monitor, the manager will want to guard against too many or few factors. There is no reason to monitor something that has no significant impact on whether the business reaches its goals. On the other hand, inadequate monitoring may result in potential problems being overlooked.

Specifying a Range of Performance

A performance standard is a goal that, when fulfilled, assures the organization is on track to fulfill the managers’ long-term goals. These benchmarks serve as criteria against which current performance can be compared to determine whether changes are needed.  They should offer a challenge, as well as a focal point for the resources and efforts of the organization.  Using a standard that reflects historical performance allows the manager to assess the long-term trends of the business.

Who Should Monitor

Monitoring will not occur if not assigned to someone (laborer, manager, or advisor).  If the task of monitoring is assigned to someone other than the individuals who developed the monitoring process, these individuals need to be educated on the process and the outcomes.

When to Monitor

An effective monitoring system provides information to the decision makers in a timely manner. The information needs to be available when it can still be used. The information needs to be gathered at the correct time, not too early as to indicate failure before completion.

How is Performance Measured

The procedure for measuring performance can vary; it could be subjective, or objective. For each factor that will be monitored, a sensor or trigger should be identified. The sensor or trigger will have to reflect the specific task being monitored.

Maintaining a Record of Performance

The control system must include a system for maintaining a record of performance. Keeping track of inputs and outputs as part of the monitoring process also may serve as a means of collecting the detailed information necessary to analyze the organization’s business process.

Making Comparisons

Compare the observed performance to the range of satisfactory performance established for the organization. The comparison should be quantitative and qualitative.


Correct what is causing performance to be outside the expected range. The factor will influence the response of the decision maker; and therefore, developing a detailed response ahead of time may not be effective. The response needs to be timed and appropriate to scale so it will not be disruptive to other functions of the organization.

Review and Revise the Monitoring Process

Like the entire business, the monitoring process will need to be revised over time. Changes occur at a more rapid pace and an effective manager must be able to notice change in his profession.

By Nathan Phillips


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