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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0007- CONTROL

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

        Learn practical skills for project control during implementation

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

What is control?:

Planning and control

Uses of control

Misuse of control

Monitoring and Tracking

Primary problems and symptoms

Control of costs

Parameters to consider in project cost control:

Human resources:

Control is not an end in itself:

Internal and external control:

Timing of control:

Control at various levels of planning

Control by management function

Control by structural unit

Characteristics of a good control system

Steps of the control process

Trade-offs in the control system involve

Reasons for change of base plans:

Factors to consider in making changes in plan

Management control tools

CPM

Project Reports

Progress report

Exception report:

Managerial authority to correct:

Evaluation of individuals:

Types of project meetings:

Purpose of project progress meetings:

Agenda for project meeting

Accountability

Project Review Meetings

Why control fails

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

Allah records everything

Continuous observation

Our work is observed

People ranked according to performance

No  expectations beyond the individual's capacity

Doing wrong without realizing it

Mistakes can occur

People judged by outward actions

Work according to capacity

Be ready to change course in case of mistakes

Omar's fact-finding tours in Syria

Omar consults about tours of inspection

Omar's last trip to Syria

Check on workers; ombudsman; not a police state:

Omar' check on subordinates

Omar had spies in every army

 

DISCUSSION

Control in the seerah

Control in your organization

Analyzing project problems

Project cost control chart

Performance check-list

Time check-list

Cost check-list

How to deal with cost overrun

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

What is control?: Control is assuring that plans are carried out effectively and efficiently. It is an important management function because it helps overcome some of the problems of human limitations by providing a systematic and methodologic approach to ensuring compliance.

 

Planning and control: Planning and control are interdependent. The project control system is determined by the plan. The plan will be changed from the findings of the control system. Plan implementation will be modified in case of mistakes.

 

Uses of control

 

Misuse of control

 

1.      Blame

 

2.      Ridicule

 

Monitoring and Tracking

Project monitoring is checking to make sure that everything is going well and according to the set plan. It aims at making sure that work is progressing according to schedule and that costs are within the approved budget

 

Tracking is use of monitoring information and results to update the base plan

 

Steering control is continuous monitoring of performance with corrective measures being taken as soon evidence predicts deviation from the desired target. Observation and monitoring of performance should be continuous; anecdotal observations do not help.

 

Seeds and symptoms of organizational decay or project failure can be detected early and corrective action taken if efficient control mechanisms are in place.

 

Many people and organizations commit mistakes and are on a failure path without realizing it. They think that they are doing well.

 

Deviations from the plan that are insidious in onset and progress slowly are more likely to me missed than sudden and dramatic ones.

 

Control can not discover or prevent all mistakes. Any human system is liable to error. What is important is to detect as many errors as possible and as early as possible so that corrective action can be taken.

 

Primary problems and symptoms

The project control system may uncover problems. Care must be taken not to take symptoms as primary problems. The underlying problems must be unravelled. The problem must de identified, described, and analyzed. Data should be collected to better define the problem in more detail and identify primary and secondary causes.

 

Problem solving requires action plans to address the problem. The action plan should define the strategy and objectives as well as the tactics to achieve the objectives.

 

The action plan should be implemented immediately. Its impact should be evaluated.

 

Some apparent problems may be the tip of an iceberg of many underlying problems to be uncovered and resolved.

 

While studying and resolving problems, you should not stop project execution because that will demotivate the project team members. In practice this implies that problem solving must be quick to make sure that necessary corrections are made before the project proceeds too far.

 

Control of costs

Project costs must be controlled. Every project team member must be conscious of cost control. The accounting system should be set up in such a way that data is available for each key stage and for each activity. The operational budget must be compared to the approved budget.

 

Monitoring project costs must be done in detail. If the general organizational accounting system can not provide the level of detail required you should consider setting up a separate system for the project. The system should be simple and straightforward and should not be a generator of unnecessary paperwork.

 

Parameters to consider in project cost control: The following parameters are considered: actual cost of work performed, budgeted cost of work performed,  and budgeted cost of work scheduled. Cost overrun is computed as the difference between the actual cost of work performed and the budgeted cost of work performed

 

Human resources: The most important factor in project implementation are human resources. No amount of control however judicious will get good results out of demotivated, weak-willed workers. Thus control should not be a substitute for good planning, selection of qualified workers and training them, and providing the right environment for successful work. Each worker should be treated as an individual. There should be no expectations of performance beyond individual capacity. Control is sometimes misunderstood to mean personal control over individuals. If used in this way it leads to negative results. You control systems and not people. You seek to understand problems so that you may solve them. You are not going after individuals, apportioning blame and punishing.

 

Control is not an end in itself: Control should not be seen as an end in itself. The overall goals of the organization should always be kept in mind. Too much or wrong misguided control could appear successful in the short run but destroy the organization in the long run. Over-control destroys creativity, results in a negative atmosphere within the organization, and demotivates workers.

 

Internal and external control: Control may be internal or external. Internal control is achieved by instilling consciousness of Allah in the worker, instilling pride in good workmanship, and hope for thawab. Control intrinsic within the worker (self control) is more effective and permanent than external control. External control depends on bureaucratic control tools, rewards and punishments.

 

Timing of control: Control activities may be described by their timing, by the planning level, management functions or organizational unit. Control activities may be pre-action, ie before start of implementation. They may be concurrent with project implementation. They may also occur at the end of the implementation.

 

Control at various levels of planning: Control may be at the level of strategy or at the level of tactical plans or at the level of day-to-day operational plans.

 

Control by management function: Control may concentrate on particular management functions such as problem solving, or planning.

 

Control by structural unit: Control may also concentrate on particular departments of the organization such as finance, personnel, dawa, education etc

 

Characteristics of a good control system: A good control system must be flexible, timely, accurate, cost-effective, understandable, acceptable, and objective.

 

Steps of the control process: Control has four steps. The start is with setting standards, criteria, or objectives. Actual performance is then measured and is compared to the expected standards. The findings of the control process will be followed by the necessary corrective, preventive, or reinforcement measures.

 

1.      Setting objectives and standards: There are two types of standads: numerical and qualitative. Examples of numerical standards are: number of units, cost, and  attaining program objectives. Examples of qualitative intangible measures are: satisfaction. Standards are set in the following  areas/dimensions: quantity, quality, time use, timeliness, and  cost. Once performance standards are set, they should be respected and upheld consistently otherwise they lose value and moral authority.

2.      Measuring actual performance:

3.      Comparing actual to expected performance: A deviation is the difference between actual and expected performance. The cause of deviation must be determined. Its causes could be system errors or human errors. System errors arise from management/organizational structure, tools, materials, and poor planning. Human errors can be mistakes committed or actions not taken. There is a narrow region of normal or acceptable deviation from the set standard. Anything within this region is tolerated. Anything outside it is a deviation that requires corrective action. Non random systematic deviation within the zone of tolerance may call for corrective action. Random deviation even outside the zone of tolerance may not call for corrective action because it is non-recurring.

4.      Taking necessary action: When there is no deviation, the action to take is reinforcement. In cases of deviation, preventive and corrective measures re taken.

 

Trade-offs in the control system involve: The control program can not ensure perfect performance in everything and trade-offs may be accepted. Trade-offs can be among the following:  costs, time, resources, and performance.

 

Reasons for change of base plans:

 

1.      Over-optimistic estimates

 

2.      Omissions

 

3.      Lack of resources

 

4.      Loss of resources

 

5.      Change of strategic plans during implementation

 

6.      Poor team work

 

Factors to consider in making changes in plan

 

1.      Budget implications

 

2.      Time implications

 

3.      Impact on objectives

 

4.      Impact on resources

 

5.      Impact on other projects

 

Management control tools: Managers use some tools for control. They provide either standards or results of actual performance for use in control. Examples of control tools are: strategic plans, long-range financial plans, operating budgets, project progress reports, statistical reports, and financial reports. Strategic plans define mission, goals,  and objectives. Long-range financial plan provide information on anticipated income and anticipated expenditure. The operating budget helps in  monitoring monthly expenses, monthly income. it can help make a determination of whether expenses match objectives. it also helps check on resource allocation. Evaluation of individual workers. Project progress reports. Statistical reports. Financial reports: balance sheet - income statement - financial ratios - cost accounting - financial audits

 

CPM: CPM is system where critical activities are represented by arrows on a diagram. Critical path is the sequence of activities which determines the total time for the project

 

Project Reports: Control requires setting up an efficient and timely reporting procedure. The project team and stakeholders must be involved in setting up the reporting system. Written progress reports are superior to oral reports. They are more concise, formal, and force the reporter to be more organized. A standard format could be established for each project. The nature of the project determines the frequency of reporting. The report should not be a secret document. It should be widely distributed among members of the project team. Exception reports should be generated in cases of deviation from the plan. A standard format could be used for them as well. All changes to the base plan should be documented: details of the change, reason for the change, financial and other implications of the change, revised forecasts of project milestone and completion dates. All various reports generated should be logged so that they are easy to look up.

 

Progress report: shows each task, scheduled duration, scheduled completion date, forecast completion date, slippage

 

Exception report: details of deviation, reason for deviation, consequences of deviation, forecast completion, financial implications

 

Managerial authority to correct: Managers must be given enough authority to resolve control issues in areas of their responsibility. Not having sufficient authority to put things right is very frustrating.

 

Evaluation of individuals: Evaluation of individual performance is a type of control. People should be ranked according to their performance. Individual workers are judged by outward actions; the inner intentions can not be known. A good worker produces results of the quality expected. A bad one does not. The following methods can be used in performance appraisal: rating scale, ranking, descriptive essay, check-list, and critical incidence analysis. Only objective criteria should be used in performance appraisal. You should avoid any emotional considerations.The following factors/criteria are considered: effectiveness, efficiency, thoroughness, initiative, perseverance, loyalty, responsibility and commitment, and technical skills. Feed-back is very important to let the worker know where he stands. Positive feedback if consistent and timely is a powerful motivator.  Negative feed-back should be specific, and fair. Criticism is directed to the bad actions and not the individual. At no time should the person criticized feel that he is attacked personally. Incompetence in whatever form should not be tolerated because it will eventually hurt the organization. Performance problems will not disappear on their own. They have to be confronted head-on immediately. Hard decisions may have to be taken. No action should be taken against a non-performing employee until the cause is carefully diagnosed.

 

Types of project meetings:

1.      Informal one to one

 

2.      Informal short team meetings

 

3.      Formal project progress meetings

 

4.      Formal project review meetings (involve stakeholders)

 

5.      Negotiations with functional managers

 

Purpose of project progress meetings:

 

1.      Review action plans from previous meetings

 

2.      Update processes

 

3.      Discuss and solve problems

 

4.      Anticipate problems

 

5.      Assess

 

6.      Forecast

 

7.      Motivate

 

8.      Deal with grievances

 

Agenda for project meeting: The agenda of the project meeting should include:  action lists, current status, deviations, future plans,  anticipated problems, performance evaluation, and an updated action list

 

Accountability: Leaders and managers of public organizations must feel accountable to Allah, their superiors, the governing boards, the members, and the stakeholders. leaders and managers may be tempted to corruption. Some may confuse private with personal interest. Others may even turn subversive. It is therefore important to keep a close watch on them. They can avoid close scrutiny because they have custody of the information. People in a bureaucracy protect one another in cases of scrutiny. Transparency of the organization provides an opportunity for followers to play a watch-dog role by continuously observing all what is going on in the organization so that they can intervene when an abuse is detected.

 

Project Review Meetings: Project review meetings require good preparation. Written reports should be given to the participants in advance to study. During the meeting oral presentations should be brief and should concentrate on the following points: what is going well, what are the problems encountered, what action is planned to correct the problem, what decisions need be made, and what are the problems anticipated in the future. An action list from the meeting should be distributed.

 

Why control fails: The control program can fail for one of the following reasons: resistance,  inaccurate information, rigid bureaucracy,  negligent management, too rapid changes, and when the  organization is overstretched

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.

 

Allah records everything: All that they do is noted in ( their ) Books ( of deeds ). Every matter small and great is a record. Qur'an 54:52-53 

Qur'an 99:7-8

 

Continuous observation: Is was we who Created man and we know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him for we are nearer to him than ( his ) jugular vein. Not a word does he Utter but there is a sentinel by him ready ( to note it ). Qur'an 50:16-18

 

Our work is observed: And say " work ( righteousness ) soon will Allah observe your work and his Messenger and the believers: Soon will ye be brought back to the knower of what is Hidden and what is open then will he show you the truth of all that you did. Qur'an 9:105

 

People ranked according to performance: To all are degrees ( or ranks ) according to their deeds: for your Lord is not unmindful of anything that they do. Qur'an 6:132 

 

No  expectations beyond the individual's capacity: On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. ( Pray:) " Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which you did lay on those before us; our Lord! lay not on us a burden greater than we have strenth to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector; help us against those who stand against Faith. Qur'an 2:286

           

Doing wrong without realizing it: Say: " Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds?. " Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life. While they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?" They are those who deny the signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet him ( In the hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall we, on the Day of Judgement, give them any weight. Qur'an 18:102-105

 

Mistakes can occur: Call them by ( the names of ) their fathers: that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if you know not their father's ( names, call them ) your Brothers in faith. or your Mawlas. But there is no blame on you if you make a mistake therein : ( What counts is ) The intention of your hearts: And Allah is oft-Forgiving most Merciful. Qur'an 33:5

 

People judged by outward actions: "I have heard Hadrat Umar ( Rad ) saying, The people acted according to Wahi ( Allah's Revelation ) during the life of the Holy Prophet ( Salam ) but the system of Wahi has now discontinued. Now we shall judge by outward conditions and general practice. Whoever performs good deeds will secure peace and favor. We are not at all concerned with his unseen acts, for Allah is there to take an account from him. But whosoever acted mischievously in our time, will neither be spared  nor approved by us, no matter how much clean he declares him self from within " Hayat 2:97

 

Work according to capacity: "Narrated Aisha : Whenever Allah's Apostle  ( may peace be upon him ) ordered the Muslims to do something, he used to order them deeds which were easy for them to do, ( according to their strength-endurance"  Bukhari 1;23, chapter 13, hadith # 19

 

Be ready to change course in case of mistakes: "Narrated Aisha : Abu Bakr As-Siddiq had never broken his oaths till Allah revealed the expiation for the oaths. Then he said, " If I take an oath to do something and later on I find something also better than the first one then I do what is better and make expiation for my oaths" Bukhari 8:404, hadith # 618

 

Omar's fact-finding tours in Syria:  " All in Ali .... donkey " Tabari 11: 188

 

Omar consults about tours of inspection: A plague broke out in Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. lt was persistent in Syria, but making victims among the inhabitants of all the garrison cities who had spent the months of al‑Muharram and Safar there. Then the plague disap­peared. Letters describing this reached 'Umar except from Syria. So 'Umar set out and traveled until, when he was near to it, news reached him that the plague there was more severe than it had ever been. So he said, "As the Companions say, the Mes­senger of God said: 'If there is a pestilence in a certain country, do not enter it and if it breaks out in a country while you happen to be in it, do not leave it."' So 'Umar returned (to Medina and stayed there), until the plague had disappeared and the people of Syria had written to him about it. They also wrote about various inheritance matters they were concerned with. 'Umar convened the people in the month Jumada I of I7 (May‑June, 638), and sought their advice on the (conquered) territories, saying, "It seems a good idea to make an inspection trip along the Muslims in their conquered territories in order to see what influence they exert on their surroundings. May I have your advice?" Ka'b al-­Ahbar, who had become a Muslim in that very year of 'Umar's reign and who happened to be present, said, "Where would you like to make a start, Commander of the Faithful?" "Iraq," was 'Umar's reply. Ka'b said, "Do not do that. Evil and good both consist of ten parts. But whereas the one part that is good lies in the east and nine in the west, the one part that is evil lies in the west while the nine other, evil parts lie in the east. The devil and every severe disease are linked with Iraq."

 

According to al‑San--Shu'ayb--Sayf--Sa'ld--al‑Asbagh--'All: 'Ali went up to him saying, "Commander of the Faithful, by God, al‑Kufah is a place to which one makes a hijrah after the Hij­rah it is the 'dome' of Islam. There will come a day when there is no believer left who does not go there out of longing. God will be made victorious through its inhabitants just as He over­came the people of Lot with stones."

 

According to al‑Sari-Shu'ayb-Sayf-al‑Mutarrah-al‑Qa­sim-Abu Umamah: Then 'Uthman said, "Commander of the Faithful, the westem part of the conquered territories is a land of wickedness; this wickedness is divided into one hundred parts, one part of which is seated in its people and the other parts in the land itself."

 

According to al‑Sari-Shu'ayb-Sayf-Yahya al‑Taymi-Abu Majid: 'Umar said, "Al‑Kufah is the spear of God and the dome of Islam. The tribal chieftains will protect their frontier ways of access and they will give military aid to the garrison cities. The estates of the victims of the plague in 'Amawas are left untended so I will begin (my tour of inspection) there."

 

According to al‑Sari--Shu'ayb--Sayf--Abu 'Uthman, Abu Ha­rithah and al‑Rabi' b. al‑Nu'man: 'Umar said, "Since the estates of the people who recently died in Syria are left untended, I shall start my tour there. I shall properly divide the estates and I shall take measures for them as I think best. After that I shall return and travel all over the country, renouncing my previous orders to them."

 

(In all,) 'Umar went to Syria four times, twice in the year I6 (637) and twice in I7 (638), but he did not set foot on Syrian soil on the first trip of the year I7 (638).

 

Tabari 13:94-96

 

 

Omar's last trip to syria: Sayf's Account of 'Umar's Last Trip to Syria and How He Introduced New Ideas for the Well‑Being of ‑ the Muslims

 

According to al‑Sari--Shu'ayb--Sayf--Abu 'Uthman, Abu Harithah and al‑Rabl': Having left 'Ali in charge of Medina, 'Umar departed, taking a group of Companions with him. They made good time, taking the road to Aylah. Finally, when he was near Aylah, he left the track, followed by his servant, and alighted in

order to pass water. Then he went back to the track and mounted his servant's camel. A pelt turned upside down was placed on its saddle. 'Umar gave his servant his own camel to ride. When an advance party of the local population met him, they asked, "Where is the Commander of the Faithful?" "In front of you" 'Umar answered, meaning that he himself was facing them. They went on ahead passing him. Finally 'Umar arrived at Aylah and dismounted. The advance party was told, "The Commander of the Faithful entered Aylah some time ago and dismounted." So at last they made their way to him.

 

According to al‑Sari--Shu'ayb--Sayf--Hisham b. 'Urwah--his father ('Urwah b. al‑Zubayr): When 'Umar b. al‑Khattab had ar­rived in Aylah with his following of Muhajirs and Ansar, he gave a cotton qamis of his, which had a tear in the backside as a result of the long journey, to the (local) bishop saying, "Have this cleaned and mended." So the bishop left with 'Umar's qamis and had it mended. He also had another one just like it sewn for him, which he brought to 'Umar, who said, "What is all this?" "As for this one here," the bishop answered, "that is the qamis you gave me that I had washed and mended; as for the other one, that is a garment I hereby give you as a present." 'Umar in­spected it and rubbed its fabric. Then he donned his own qamis, but returned the other to the bishop saying, "The one I am wear­ing is better in that it absorbs more sweat."

 

According to al‑Sari--Shu'ayb--Sayf--'Atiyyah and Hilal-- Rafi' b. 'Umar: I heard al‑'Abbas in al‑Jabiyah say to 'Umar, "If you practice the following four customs, you deserve the title 'right­eous': honesty in money matters, equality in dividing up, keeping your promise and steering clear of disgrace; purify your­self and your people."

 

According to al‑Sari-Shu'ayb--Sayf--Abu 'Uthman, al‑Rabi' and Abu Harithah each with his own isnad: 'Umar divided the allowances and ordained the winter and summer campaigns. He manned the frontier roads and observation posts at the border of Syria and he began to make inspection tours in the country, ordaining those measures in every district. He made 'Abdallah b. Qays govemor over the coastal plains of every district; he dis­missed Shurahbil (b. Hasanah) and appointed Mu'awiyah (b. Ab Sufyan) as governor in his place. Abu 'Ubaydah and Khalid (b. al­-Walid) were given high commands in the army under the authori­ty of Mu'awiyah. Shurahbil asked 'Umar, "Did you sack me out of discontent, Commander of the Faithful?" "No," was the reply, "I appreciate you as you are, but I really want a more forceful man." "All right," Shurahbil said, "but, please, clear my name in public, lest I be criticized for a shortcoming (which I do not have)." So 'Umar addressed the congregation and said, "(Listen, you) people, by God, I did not relieve Shurahbil of his functions out of discontent, but I just wanted a more forceful man." He placed the granaries under the supervision of 'Amr b. 'Abasah and ordained all those measures. Then he addressed the people (in a meeting) to say goodbye.

 

According to al‑San--Shu ayb--Sayf--Abu Damrah and Abu 'Amr--al‑Mustawrid--'Adi b. Suhayl: When 'Umar had finished seeing to the access routes (to the Hijaz) and his other business, he divided the estates of persons recently deceased, letting vari­ous heirs who were still alive inherit from various others, and then he presented the estates to the living heirs of every man deceased) among them.

 

According to al‑San--Shu'ayb--Sayf--Mujalid--al‑Sha'bi: Al­Harith b. Hisham departed (for Syria) amidst seventy of his rela­tives of whom only four eventually returned. Al‑Muhajir b. Khalid b. al‑Walid recited the following lines (in sari):

Who settles in Syria goes surely to rest there! For ev'n if we can't be destroyed by calamities, It's Syria that killed off the children of Raytah, Those twenty young knights, their lips' down still untrimmed, And likewise their equally noble young cousins! At such a disaster th' onlooker's perplexed. Their deaths were all caused by spear wounds and the plague That's what we were told by the military scribe.

 

He went on: 'Umar returned from Syria to Medina in the month of Dhu al‑Hijja. When he was about to depart, he addressed the people in congregation, praised God and extolled Him, and said, "I have been put in charge over you and I have carried out what I had to do in respect of those matters concerning you, which God has entrusted to me. If He wills, we will justly distribute among you the revenues of your fay' lands, your living quarters and your raiding assignments. We have given you your due We have mobilized armed forces for you, we have put your access routes in order. We have indicated places for you to settle. We have ex­tended the revenues of your fay' lands for you and of that part of Syria you fought for. We have ordained your foodstuffs for you and we have given orders that you will be given your stipends, allowances and supplementary allocations. He who possesses information on a certain issue, should act upon it. Let anyone inform me about something special he knows), then I myself shall put that into practice, God willing. There is no power except with God."

 

The hour for the prayer ritual had struck and the people asked 'Umar, "Could you please order Bilal to call us to prayer?" So 'Umar issued the order and Bilal sang out the call to prayer. There was no one, whose lifetime reached back to the lifetime of the Messenger of God, who did not weep, moistening his beard, when Bilal's call rang out. 'Umar wept most copiously of all and every­one too young to have seen the Prophet with his own eyes wept all the same, moved by the weeping of the others, with memories of the Messenger of God coming back to him.

Tabari 13:101-105

 

Check on workers; ombudsman; not a police state: Muhammad bin Musalamah commission of enquiry on Saad ibn Waqqas: 

 

Sa'd was being beleaguered by certain peo­ple, who incited against his authority in the time that elapsed between the exchange of letters among the Persians and their assembling at Nihawand. But the latter were not concerned with the commotion that their maneuvers caused the Muslims. Among those people who recalcitrated was al‑Jarrah b. Sinan al-Asadi amidst a group of followers.

 

'Umar wrote back, "Proof that not everything is in order among you lies in your rising up just at the moment when those who are preparing to fight you are getting ready. But I swear by God, this crisis will not prevent me from looking into your situation first, even if the Persians attack you." Then 'Umar sent Muhammad b. Maslamah. In the meantime, the Muslim forces were getting ready to fight the Persians, while the Persians were con­centrating their forces. Muhammad b. Maslamah was the overseer of the governors, whose task it was at the time of 'Umar's reign to investigate the administrative measures taken by those against whom complaints had been filed.

 

So Muhammad went up to Sa'd to be escorted amongst the inhabitants of al‑Kufah, while deputations meant for the people of the garrison cities were sent in the direction of Nihawand. Sa'd escorted Muhammad along the mosques of the people of al­Kufah. Muhammad did not address himself in secret to any question raised about Sa'd, since in those days problems related to people's circumstances were never dealt with behind closed doors‑ Muhammad did not stop at a prayer site in order to interro­gate the people about Sa'd without receiving the answer, "We know nothing but good (about him!,‑ we do not wish him to be replaced, we will not say anything that discredits him and we will help no one against him." AlI expressed these and similar ideas) except those who supported al‑Jarrah b. Sinan and his associates. The last‑mentioned had kept silent, not saying anything detri­mental, nor had Muhammad given them permission (to speak for that matter). They had also deliberately abstained from uttering salutations Finally, the investigation committee reached the abode of the 'Abs. Muhammad addressed them, "I swear by God, let anyone who knows the truth speak up."  Then Usamah b. Qatadah said, "If you adjure us, by God, [to be frank with you], Sa'd does not divide the booty equally among us, he does not act justly among his subjects and he does not mount campaigns (sc. that might bring in spoils)." Hereupon Sa'd ex­claimed, "By the almighty God, if he has told a deliberate lie for everybody to see and hear, then, God, blind him, give him numer­ous children, and expose him to tribulations that will make him take leave of his senses!" And indeed, (in the time that fol­lowed), Usamah did become blind. Moreover, in the end he had ten daughters, having heard about a woman whom he went to seek out, until he felt his way toward her. Later, when people bumped into him, he would say, ''(The state in which I am is the result of) an imprecation of Sa'd, that blessed man."

 

Then, in conformity with his imprecation, Sa'd addressed (al-Jarrah's) hangers‑on and said, "O God, if they have stepped out of line in brazen impertinence with false pretenses, mete out a se­vere punishment to them. " And indeed, the afflictions that befell them were great: al‑Jarrah was cut down by sword blows on the day he pounced on al‑Hasan b. 'Ali to kill him at Sabat; Qabisah (b. Dubay'ah al‑'Absi) was stoned to death; Arbad was killed as a result of emasculation and blows with sword scab­bards. In addition, Sa'd said, "Remember that I was the first man to shed the blood of unbelievers. The Messenger of God asked that both his parents be held ransom for me and that was something he had never done for anyone before. At one time I saw that I comprised one‑fifth of the adherents of Islam. And now these yokels from Asad claim that I cannot perform the salat correctly and that I am solely concerned with hunting." Muham­mad Ib. Maslamah took Sa'd and those men from Asad with him back to 'Umar. When they had arrived at 'Umar's abode, Muham­mad reported to him, whereupon 'Umar said, "Woe unto you, Sa'd, how do you perform the salat?" "I take my time in per­forming the first two (rak'as)," Sa'd replied, "and I shorten the last two." "But that is merely your own private interpretation," 'Umar said and he went on, "Had it not been for their (lack of) circumspection [in their accusations], their line of action would have been clearly (justified)." Then he asked, "Sa'd, who is your deputy in al‑Kufah?" "'Abdallah b. 'Abdallab b. 'Itban," Sa'd an­swered. 'Umar confirmed this appointment and nominated him as governor.

 

Tabari 13:190-192

 

Omar' check on subordinates: " Whenever a delegation a delegation would come to Umar (Rad) he put a number of questions about the Amir ( Governor ) of the area; i.e. Does he visit the patients? Does he listen to the grievances of the slaves too? How does he behave with those who come to see him? Thus if the delegation would confirm the good traits in the Amir, well and good, otherwise he ( Smir ) was sacked straight away.

Ibrahim narrates, whenever Umar (Rad) appointed any governor, he would enquire from the delegations coming from the area about the governor i.e. Do you like your governor ? Whether he attends the slave-patients or not ? Whether he joins the funeral procession or not ? Does he receive people well ? Is he mild or not ? Thus if the people would confirm his mild treatment and his care for the slaves, he would say nothing otherwise, he sent a messenger without loss of time to get him ( Amir ) dismissed."

Hayat 2: 89

 

Omar had spies in every army: Furat and 'Utaybah had gone off in their own directions until they attacked $iffm, where the Namir and the Taghlib were under their various standards. They attacked them, throwing a band of them into the water. These pleaded with them, but they did not leave off from [attacking] them. They started calling out to them, "Drown­ing, drowning!' 'Utaybah and Furat began to instigate the men, calling out to them, "A drowning for a burning! " reminding them of one of their battles in the Jahiliyyah in which they had burned up a group of the Bakr b. Wa'il in a certain swampy thicket. Then, having drowned them, they turned away, going back to al‑Muthanna. When the men had returned to their camp at al‑Anbar, and the expeditions and raiding parties had come together there, al‑Muthanna led them down to al‑Hirah' and camped in it.

 

'Umar used to have spies in every army. As 'Umar was informed by writing of what took place on those expeditions, he heard what 'Utaybah and Furat had said at the battle of the Banu Taghlib and the water. He sent a message to the two of them, asking them [about it]. They informed him that they had said that because it was a prover­bial saying and that they had not said it to seek revenge for the Jahi­liyyah. He asked them to swear an oath, and they swore that they had meant by that only [to use] a proverbial saying and to strengthen Islam. He believed them and sent them back, so that they came to al‑Muthanna.

 

Tabari 11: 220-221

 

DISCUSSION:

CONTROL IN THE SEERAH

 

For each situation studied in the seerah

 

(a)        draw up a control plan that could have detected and corrected the problems encountered. Use the following outline:

                        criteria

                        actual performance

                        compare actual to expected performance

                        corrective/reinforcement action

(b)        Identify management control tools that were used

 

CONTROL IN YOUR ORGANIZATION

 

Think of a recent project in your organization,

 

(a)        draw up a control plan that could have detected and corrected the problems encountered. Use the following outline:

                        criteria

                        actual performance

                        compare actual to expected performance

                        corrective/reinforcement action

(b)        Identify management control tools that were used

 

 

ANALYZING PROJECT PROBLEMS

 

 

PROJECT COST CONTROL CHART

Using actual project financial reports draw up a project cost control chart showing the following for each stage of the project:

 

BCWS                         budgeted cost

BCWP                         budgeted cost

ACWP                         actual cost

COST VAR                 cost variance %

SCHED VAR              scheduled variance %

 

 

PERFORMANCE CHECK-LIST

Standards

Specifications

Effectiveness

 

TIME CHECK-LIST

Forecast

Slippage

 

COST CHECK-LIST

Cause of cost overrun

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH COST OVERRUN

Reallocate resources

Use lower cost materials and resources

Allow schedule slippage

 

 

YOUR NOTES:

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2000