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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Thornhill

How Do You Implement a Management System?

You may have been thinking about implementing a management system into your organisation for a while, or may have just realised the importance of this business decision. Whichever stage you are in on your journey to implementing your management system, it's important you know how to do this in the most effective way.

In this video, we're going to look at the top 5 tips to consider when implementing a management system.

1. Develop a business case for top management

The first thing we advocate to all of our customers who are looking at implementing a management system into their organisation, is to develop some kind of business case or plan that can be presented to top management.

When meeting with top management, the goal is to get this plan endorsed, so you need to explain in here, why your organisation needs to implement a management system.

You need to clearly define and capture why you are wanting the management system and then gather some insights from top management about what their experiences have been, and what their expectations would be from this process.

manager signing documents

You want to get this planned endorsed and signed off on, as this shows that the top management is committed to investing resources and time into the process.

Implementing a management system is a lot of work and it will take time, so getting top management to understand this right from the start will be hugely beneficial to you.

2. Realise that changes will occur and there may be resistance to change

Implementing a management system will involve a level of change to business processes, practices and activities, which can sometimes bring resistance to change.

The wider organisation needs to be aware that changing documented procedures and creating records will be a cultural journey for the whole organisation to undertake.

It is important for you to be aware of what changes will take place, and how this will affect the culture of the organisation. This way, you will be prepared for the next step.

3. Communicate expectations to the operational team

You need to capture those expectations we talked about with top management, and start communicating that to the operational team straightaway.

You need to be able to explain:

  1. This is what we're doing

  2. This is why the business is doing it

Don't just tell the operational team that changes occur, but not explain why, as this is often what results in that resistance. People will be confused, angry and disappointed in the company culture.

Communicate early on too, so that your operational teams understand the rationale of why these changes will occur and when. This way they will have some time to become accustomed to the idea, and be able to consult with you any concerns they have.

When it comes to the cultural journey of the organisation, it's going to be really important that the operational staff can see a demonstrated top management commitment to what's happening.

Some staff will tend to avoid these changes and think that top management will have something else to focus on in 6 months instead. This is not the case - ensure that they are aware of the reasons behind what is happening and that it will become a permanent part of the business.

4. Ensure top management treats this as a discrete project

You need the top management team to understand and treat this as a discrete project that will involve a lot of work, right from the start.

We often see situations where the top management perceives this to be a job for someone in the compliance team who is just knocking together a few documents, and that's all that needs to be done. No, it's a big body of work.

It needs to be thought of, resourced, and treated as a discrete project right from the start, and by resourced, I mean the nominated people actually given time over their substantive role.

So, if we have our operations manager and a quality manager putting this together yes, they need time over their substantive role dedicated to putting this together. It's not something they can just do when they're already flat out with everything else.

5. Be honest and willing to stop

The final thing that we advise all of our customers on is that if you haven't got top management commitment, endorsement, and understanding then you need to stop. That's the honest advice. It's just going to be too hard to implement.

Where the isn't that real top management commitment, you need to take some time to educate and improve the understanding and awareness of the top management about this process.

Inform them on what their role is in the whole thing and why their involvement is critical, particularly when helping support the culture in the direction that we want to go.

To check out some ways that you can inform top management of the importance of this change, check out the blog below: benefits of implementing a management system.

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