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Why Do Management Systems Fail?

March 29, 2018


A Management System is only as good as the people using it. If senior management do not use them to their full advantage, or don’t know what to expect from them, the system is doomed to fail. If the staff are not aware of their responsibilities and inputs to the Management System again it is on the road to failure.


Any system must be driven, policed and more importantly embedded! Miss any of these three aspects and the system will just stop. Commitment across the whole business, from top to bottom, is crucial for the success of a management system. The new ISO Management Systems, Quality, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, put the responsibility of the system firmly on the shoulders of the Executive Management, where it always should sit.


All staff must be involved, during implementation, so they can understand what it is all about, use their knowledge to craft their procedures and feel part of the process. During embedment the system must be tested, developed, tweaked and accepted.


These two phases, Implementation and more importantly Embedment are the foundations that should mould the system to the business. Too many businesses think that getting all the documentation in place within a week, a month or 6 weeks is enough to gain certification for some Management Systems. And, if the certification body decide to overlook the required amount of evidence to prove that the system is being used fully, then unfortunately, yes, a certificate will be issued. However, the system will fail because it hasn’t been embedded. It isn’t second nature, it is a chore!


So, for those thinking of gaining a Management System Certification, or those businesses that already have a Management System Certification, but the system is not working here are some reasons to consider what to look for:

  • Lack of embedment period – system hasn’t been clearly moulded to the businesses processes;

  • Lack of training – knowledge and awareness of the system and what staff are responsible for;

  • Lack of communication – Stifled lines of communications throughout the business;

  • System not being monitored (Internal Audits) – Letting errors and mistakes slip through the net;

  • Lack of desire for improvement – Apathy due to the lack of support or incentives;

  • Avoiding Responsibility – All levels of the business not being held to account for their requirements;


To find out more on how to implement and embed your management system to achieve its desired results and for businesses with failing management systems that are not delivering the results, it is not too late to turn it around. Email:  for more information on how we can help your business. Visit our website for more information on ISO Management Systems and certification: 



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