Management Systems Engineering Program
A management system is the framework of processes and procedures used to ensure that an organization can fulfill all tasks required to achieve its objectives. It is made up of people interacting with other people and machines that, together, set the goals and objectives, outline the strategies and tactics, and develop the plans, schedules and necessary controls to run an organization. For instance, an environmental management system enables organizations to improve their environmental performance through a process of continuous improvement. An oversimplification is "Plan, Do, Check, Act". A more complete system would include accountability (an assignment of personal responsibility) and a schedule for activities to be completed, as well as auditing tools to implement corrective actions in addition to scheduled activities, creating an upward spiral of continuous improvement. Also as in the aforementioned management system, an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) enables an organization to control its occupational health and safety risks and to improve its performance by means of continuous improvement.
An oversimplification of a management system.
A critical success element of the management system is the management systems standards. Management system standards provide a model to follow in setting up and operating a management system. This model incorporates the features on which experts in the field have reached a consensus as being the international state of the art. World-class management system standards exist to provide guidance to organizations on the creation of these business processes. These cover all aspects of business management, including the management of Quality, Occupational Health and Safety, Environment, Information Technology, Finance, etc. Examples of management system standards include: ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management, ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management, SA8000 Social Accountability.