Strategic control looks at the strategy of a process, from implementation to completion, and analyzes how effective the strategy is and where changes can be made to improve it. Operational control focuses on day-to-day operations. Both strategic and operational control have advantages that can be utilized by organizations if they implement the correct control in the right setting. For example, operational control should be used when looking at sales numbers, whereas strategic control should be used when looking at the sales process.
Strategic control can be affected by external factors and external data. Operational control is concerned with internal operating factors. The environment and the market have a lot more to do with strategic control, whereas operating control deals with everyday issues that may arise, such as personnel problems or technological meltdowns.
The time frame element in the two types of control is very different. Strategic control deals with a process over time, looking at the different steps to evaluate how effective they are and where changes could be made. The process could take weeks or months to finish, yet strategic control lasts longer than that. Once the process is completed, the evaluation continues. Operational control takes place on a day-to-day basis, examining everyday problems that arise and working on improving them on the spot.
Correcting mistakes or taking action to fix problems is more effective in operational control because it happens right away. With strategic control a problem may be found, but with evaluation and analysis having to be done regarding what brought on the problem in the first place, it takes a lot more time. With operational control, problems are addressed immediately to ensure the organization can continue running effectively.
Much like corrective actions, reporting intervals in strategic control take time over a period of months, whereas operational control has reports compiled daily and weekly. Strategic control looks at bigger organizational issues, such as a new market to break into, so it takes longer to collect research and make reports. Operational control looks at production numbers, sales figures and daily operations. These numbers present themselves much more easily and therefore can be reported quickly and more efficiently.