The function of controlling in engineering management refers to activities carried out by an engineering manager to assess and regulate work in progress, evaluate results for the purpose of securing and maintaining maximum productivity, and reduce and prevent unacceptable performance (Reichmann 2011). Although the bulk of the controlling activities appear to be of an administrative and operational nature, controlling has strategic importance. To efficiently implement any assignment project, program, or plan, managerial control is crucial. Any forward-looking strategic plan becomes of questionable value if its implementation is poor. Furthermore, without adequate control, managerial delegation is ineffective, rendering the managerial leadership less effective. The function of controlling also contributes to corporate renewal by pruning the dead wood, if needed.
Skills to recruit the best employees and keep them motivated and productive are critically important to managers. There are eight recommended ways to develop a productive workforce, including (1) assessing performance, (2) coaching, (3) dismissing an employee, (4) giving and receiving feedback, (5) hiring, (6) managing difficult interactions, (7) managing workplace stress, and (8) retaining valued employees.
Engineering managers exercise control by carrying out the specific tasks of setting standards, measuring performance, evaluating performance, and controlling performance. In addition, this chapter addresses the manager's control of time, personnel, business relationships, projects, and company knowledge.