How do Control Systems Function?

Control systems are defined as systems with feedback, i.e. in which part of the output variable is fed back to the input either directly or in modified form. In the technical field, the term “control” is defined according to DIN 19226 as follows: “Control is a process in which a variable, the controlled variable (in the sense of the variable to be controlled), is continuously recorded, compared with another variable, the reference variable, and influenced in the sense of an adjustment to the reference variable.”

However, we know control systems not only in technical environments, but also in economic, biological, and social environments, as well as in combined environments.

By closed-loop control we mean a continuous process in which the controlled variable (the actual value of the output variable) is continuously compared with a setpoint and the difference is incorporated as a feedback value in the future control process, i.e. the process can continuously adjust itself. This must be distinguished from open-loop control as a selective trigger of change. In an open-loop control process, the setpoint and the control element are outside the system to be controlled, unlike in a closed-loop control.

Many organizations are managed in the open-loop controlling sense. From a central point, instructions are given to the workforce, which then carries them out. In dynamic, complex environments, however, this management principle of control reaches its limits, whereas control mechanisms can show their strength precisely here. Try setting goals using the SMART principle, implement a thought-through decision-making process, seek for agile working and find an appropriate organizational structure which supports the agile process.

Some managers do not see that they are part of the system they manage, that is, they are regulatory.

There are control systems with a reinforcing effect and those with a stabilizing effect.


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