The International Standards Organization began publishing the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families of management system standards in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. These standards spearheaded the movement toward quality and environmental management systems to help organizations improve their business. Over the years, these two families of standards became widely respected across the globe for their collection of solid business practices rooted in a management systems approach. They exposed millions of executives to this approach, which continues today.
What is a management systems approach? It is a framework of processes and procedures used to ensure that an organization can fulfill all tasks required to achieve its objectives. To be effective and continually improve, a management system follows the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. See the graphic below. Implementing a formal management system will ensure awareness of and compliance to an established set of relevant internal and external guidelines, standards, practices, policies, regulations, and other obligations. Redundant activities can be eliminated along with their associated costs and resources can be more effectively deployed.
ISO continues to publish voluntary standards that address the changing needs of the business world. New standards continue to use a management systems approach. The following is a list of several examples: ISO 22301:2012, Societal security- Business continuity management systems; ISO 22320:2011, Societal security- Emergency management- Requirements for incident response; ISO 31000-2009, Risk management- Principles and guidelines; and others.
If you would like to find out more about how a management systems approach can help your organization, please contact Gradient Planning at 860-402-6597.