Integrating Management Systems effectively
How auditing plays a key role
At the end of last year, the CQI (Chartered Quality Institute) published an article outlining how auditing plays a key role in the effective integration of management systems. Having read this article, we have decided to share some key points; as a summary.
Integrating a management system (e.g., ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 or 27001) into your business is seen as a way to avoid complexity, by managing everything relating to your business in one place. However, IBMS (integrated business management systems) are not without challenges.
Developing an IBMS can be a risk, especially when trying to meet the requirements of multiple ISO standards and interested parties. This is where auditing can prove highly beneficial for keeping things simple. Auditing provides the opportunity to not only confirm compliance, but to challenge organisational efficiency.
Auditors should challenge how an organisation uses its documentation to define policies and procedures. Is a management system with thousands of documents effective, easy-to-use and of a value-adding experience? Research has proven that we have limitations on the amount of information we can read and understand at a given time; so, document requirements within a business must be proactively managed, simplified, integrated and be effectively maintained.
Advancements in Information Technology can help present information in a more user-friendly way. Visual forms of presenting end-to-end integrated processes; as opposed to systems that rely on user navigation, can be very powerful in establishing understanding.
Finally, auditors should question if core risks to the business have been identified, and mitigated effectively.
Understanding how an organisation uses risk management to focus, understand, and plan the governance it needs, is a good way to discover how integrated a system is.
To conclude, integrated management should simplify how people work together within an organisation and avoid complexity. It requires awareness of dependencies and avoidance of assumptions. Auditing against IBMS provides the opportunity to help guide and teach organisations to simplify their management systems and avoid gaps in their procedures.
If you would like to read the full article, it can be found here.