Controls are methods of modifying the behaviour of activities, resources, processes and systems, and the events that are associated with them.

The purpose of controls is to enable systems to achieve planned objectives and events.The way in which activities take place, and the way in which processes and systems are operated may be modified by means of controls. Automobiles are steered by their steering wheels, and a metered pump controls the amount of fuel that is put into their tanks. Prisoners are controlled by locking them in cells, and releasing them at a particular time. In times of shortage food is rationed in order to control its consumption. Controls are necessary at all levels of systems ranging from the electricity supply of a power generating station to the switching on or off of a personal computer.

Effective control of processes requires an operational cycle of evaluation followed by implementation.

This speed and frequency of this operational cycle of process, evaluation, and implementation is determined by the objectives and requirements of the operation or system of which it may be part. The effect of the control is to vary the process, by modifying the resources, or activities, or both. If a sausage machine is found to be producing sausages of poor meat content, the amount of meat or its quality may be changed. Alternatively the coarseness of the mincing process or the size of the sausage may also be changed.

Effective control of a process requires the activities and resources to be evaluated throughout the operation of the process. The evaluation, involves the inspection of the resources, activities, and events of the operation of the system, and making decisions about the continuing operation. This should be followed by implementation, which consists of an initiative arising from the evaluation, and followed by execution of any changes required to the process.



The control cycle requires Evaluation, and Implementation to be carried out in sequence.

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