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What is a word or phrase meaning "to bring in account" or "to bring into a controlled state"?

I don't think "to bring into account" is exactly the phrase I'm looking for... I want to convey the idea of taking something which is in an unknown state and beginning to manage or know the state. I don't want to imply only discovery or management of the state, but both.

For example: "The software developers finally _____ their messy project by setting up a version control system." (the example sentence can be re-worked to fit the phrase if necessary)

Thanks!

  • For your future use "bring in account" does not mean "bring into a controlled state", or anything like it. – DJClayworth Jun 14 '18 at 16:19
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I think you're looking for rein in:

to limit or control (someone or something): Congress must rein in spending. You had better rein that kid in before she gets hurt.

The software developers finally reined in their messy project by setting up a version control system.

  • Equestrian idioms seem apt here. Tamed. Corralled. – stevesliva Jun 15 '18 at 3:19

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