What Has Your Management System Done for You Lately?

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    August 18, 2020
  • Duration:
    20 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.40

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What has your Management System Done for you Lately?

Whether you have had a management system for a year or a decade, the challenge is always the same – What has it done for us lately? Keeping a management system relevant and making it reflect how we want to work and what we want to achieve is a never-ending struggle. As many of us know, systems have a few basic purposes:

  1. Document the policies, processes, and procedures used by an organization to ensure that it can fulfil the tasks required to achieve its objectives, be they operational excellence, safety, regulatory compliance, environmental performance, or financial performance
  2. Support the achievement of the organization’s objectives
  3. Ensure the “Plan, Do, Check, Act” approach is alive within the organization to continuously improve as the organization learns

The question remains, how has the management system helped us recently and what does it continue to do for us? Are we using it effectively, keeping it fresh and in line with the industry, and are we truly learning from it?

Both new and established management systems can become stagnant. In the case of established systems, they tend to become stale or are “put on the shelf” as something that has been documented but is only used when an auditor comes looking for it. It might even have very little bearing on the day-to-day operations.

Often, new management systems lose steam somewhere between the development and early implementation phases. The loss of focus can have many causes, but key among them are the loss of management commitment for the implementation, the viewpoint that the system is an initiative rather than a living, breathing way of working, or because the company culture is resistant to change.

Regardless of the reasons, there are ways to regain momentum. This paper discusses the challenges of keeping a management system relevant and ways to overcome these hurdles. In doing so, it explores the idea of improving the system based on both its sophistication and the organization’s ability to utilize it as part of the daily routine.

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