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So, what is a management system? A management system is basically a set of processes, policies, and procedures within an organization. The management system works as a tool for the top management to ensure planning, management, follow-ups, controls, and evaluations to improve the business. In this post, you can find everything you need to know about a management system.
The purpose of a management system may vary depending on what type of business you’re in. Common for all management systems is that they should work as a support system for management, planning, controlling, following-up and evaluating the business. Within some businesses, there are standards that need to be ensued. A management system standard exists to give support and guidance for organizations to build a management system. These standards consist of requirements imposed on the management system, which needs to be met in order for the organization to certify against the standard. Thereby, the organization can show the surrounding world that they understand the needs of the customers, they have the abilities to develop and deliver products/services, and that they are working for a long-term competitiveness. The standards may, for example, be based upon:
As you can see, the purpose of a management system may vary depending on what alignment it is based upon and what business you’re active in.
As mentioned earlier, a management system is partially a tool for the management to ensure certain points, but it can also work as a support for employees within the business.
The management system can operate as a natural place for coworkers to find information relevant to them and their role. It could be everything from how certain tasks should be done, what external parties are being affected in the processes, which requirements should be met within the activities and who is responsible for the processes and activities. In short, you can say that the management system represents the business – all the way from the overview down to the details. Would you like to see examples of what a management system could look like? Click here to see a digital management system from 2c8 Apps!
The management system can as mentioned earlier, partially contribute to a certification of the business. A certification is achieved by showing that the business is always striving for improvement. This is done with the help of a management system that meets a set standard, whether it’s a standard about the working environment or innovation. Nowadays, it’s also more common for customers to make demands on the business to be certified against a specific standard. This way, a management system facilitates increases in business.
But a management system is often more than just a certification and diploma on the wall. The management can, with the help of the management system, make sure that the right things are being performed at the right time, with the right competence for the purpose and with the right strategy to reach their goals. This contributes to a unified image within the organization since everyone is working towards the same, clearly set, goals.
Below we have gathered 5 key points which are important when starting the process of developing a management system
Before starting the work with the management system it’s important to clarify, for yourself and others, what the need and the purpose of a management system is for your business. Do you need it in order to certify against a certain standard that our customers are demanding? Is it to streamline the business? Is it to clarify responsibility within the organization? By answering questions like these you will have a clear outset for the management system.
In order for the management to use the management system as a tool for leading, planning, steering and evaluating it is important to engage them from the start.
They who have the most knowledge about certain processes and activities should take space in the build-up of the management system, regardless of the knowledge is theoretical or practical. Gather representatives from different areas and units of the business in order to get the most established view of the business.
Brainstorming, criticism, and spontaneous ideas are the way to success! Workshops are often effective and give a space for coworkers to question existing methods of working. Are we performing these tasks in the most effective way? Is the customer considered in the entire chain? How can we streamline this step? All of these questions result in a shared view of areas for improvement.
Visualizing is the most educational way there is, right? A strong recommendation is to visualize your main- and sub-processes together in workshops, in order to create such a clear image of the business as possible. By live-modeling your business during workshops, you will be able to identify areas of improvement way easier.
The most important tip we could give you in order to create a successful management system is to establish it in all parts of the organization. The management system should give a representative insight into the entire business, but also give coworkers the opportunity to influence how the business operates.
This is both important in the design of the management system but also for all the coworkers implementing the management system in their daily work. Communication is therefore essential. Inform everyone about the management system, encourage coworkers to use it, and create a safe space for feedback. Let the management system become a central part of your everyday work!