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Why Do Management Systems Fail?

May 22, 2019


It is quite astounding the number of businesses I have met, that have invested a lot of money and time into implementing a management system, then when it is up and running, just leave it be.


I hear businessmen and women state that a management system is the engine of a business. I disagree. The engine of any business or organisation is its people, without whom they wouldn’t be in business.  The management system is the oil that keeps the engine going.


So when a business puts oil into its engine, the management system, it has to be checked regularly, as with a real engine, to ensure it is still fit for purpose. This is where many business fall down, and it is such a shame.


For anything to work well it must be maintained, this includes management systems. If not checked on a regular basis (audited) and continuously improved, it will fall into disrepair and almost definitely be detrimental to the business.


For a management system to work it takes commitment from ALL the staff, top to bottom. It must have buy in from everyone, but especially the Executive Management, because at the end of the day, it is their responsibility to ensure it is working for the business.


Regular health checks of the management system are crucial. Internal audits not only check that employees are following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), but also highlight areas for improvement. The system as a whole should be looked at on a regular basis too. Management Review Meetings every 6 to 12 months, should look at the bigger aspect and should be fed by each department with any problems and potential opportunities for improvement.


Employee awareness is important too. They are your engine, and they need to know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Encouragement for feedback on improvements, not just on SOPs but interaction between departments to help develop the management system.


A management system that is fully implemented and embedded into a business will give the business all the benefits and confidence it is designed to do. 


Check the oil in your business, don’t let the engine seize up because it wasn’t maintained!

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