A management system is the set of interrelated or interacting elements in an organisation to set out policies/objectives and processes to achieve those objectives. It entails defining what activities the organisation will carry out as well as who they will be entrusted to and what resources will be allocated to achieve certain objectives.
A management system may address a single discipline or several (quality, environment, occupational health and safety, etc.), but they are all based on The Deming Cycle for Continuous Quality Improvement (PDCA):
Plan (P) / Do (D) / Check (C) / Act (A)
So, first of all, they must set objectives, assigning people responsible for meeting them, deadlines and resources. Then the actions actually have to be carried out. Next, the results obtained must be measured/monitored and, finally, action must be taken if the results are not as expected.
Organisations seeking to implement a management system can either set their own requirements to be met or follow the criteria set by internationally recognised models such as ISO standards. For example, the most popular internationally-recognised standard is ISO 9001, which sets out the criteria for a quality management system with a strong customer focus and continual improvement.
Once the system is in place, organisations can ask for it to be audited by a third-party, of their own accord, and request a certificate to be issued certifying that the company complies with the applicable ISO standard. In Spain, there are more than 40 entities that audit organisations’ management systems. These certificates endorse the work carried out and can be used in marketing actions and/or to respond to customer requirements.
Companies tend to overcomplicate things when they implement a management system. Some of the most common mistakes are creating too much bureaucracy, focusing too much on drawing up documents instead of on improving the working methods, designing a work system in parallel with the true situation of the organisation and not involving all the staff when developing it.
Ecogesa accompanies organisations through the stages of designing, implementing, maintaining and outsourcing their management systems.
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Below you will find opinion and analysis articles written by our professionals related to the Management systems Practice.