Integrated management

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Is Your Integrated Management System Really Integrated?
In response to customer requirements and other pressures imposed by both regulators and the marketplace, organizations now find themselves having to conform to a bewildering number of management standards. One of the first major international standards to come on the scene was ISO 9001 (quality management). It was followedby ISO 14001 (environmental management). Now there are standards for occupational health and safety (OHSAS 18001), financial management (Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404), risk management (AS 4360), social responsibility (SA 8000), sustainable development (BS 8900), food safety management (ISO 22000), information security management (ISO 27001), information technology service management (ISO 20000),and business excellence (the Baldrige model). In addition, several industries have created their own individual management standards: • • • • • • Chemicals (RC 14001 and the Responsible Care Management System) Automotive (ISO/TS 16949) Aerospace (AS 9100) Medical devices (ISO 13485) Telecommunications (TL 9000) Testing and calibration laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025) three or more. As a result, eachdepartment within the organization may have to address multiple requirements deriving from several different management standards. This column discusses some attempts being made to integrate management standards and find the elusive “business management system” that can serve as a common denominator for integrating all management standards within an organization. I also offer some ideas fordeveloping a more focused integration approach that goes beyond most current efforts.

Simplifying the Maze
Given the proliferation of management standards, it is easy to see why organizational managers may begin to question the need for them: “Why are we using these systems?” “What value are they to us?” Despite these doubts, however, organizations often have little choice but to implement multiplemanagement systems. In many cases, they are required to do so by customers, trade associations, or other stakeholders. So management decides, “Let’s implement a barely conforming system and try to cut our losses.” There’s a better way to approach the challenge of dealing with multiple management standards, however. Organizations can avoid confusion and minimize expense by integrating the variousstandards.

Many of the industry-specific standards target quality management. Organizations frequently are required to comply with more than one of these standards—often

Robert B. Pojasek

© 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/tqem.20124

Environmental Quality Management / DOI 10.1002/tqem / Winter 2006 / 89 Since separate stand-alone management systems cost more to implement and comply with, integration should help increase operational efficiency and ultimately save money for organizations. In this context, it is interesting to note that ISO 9001:2000 actually addresses the determination of just how much value is added to the organization by utilizing the standard.

Adding ISO 9001 to theintegrated structure may be a bit more challenging. This standard incorporates the PDCA cycle but is based on a process-focus and systems approach.

Integrated or Combined?
Before going further, it is useful to understand what is generally meant by the term integration as it relates to management standards. Dictionaries often define the word “integrate” as “to combine.” And, indeed, many attempts tointegrate management standards simply combine elements from various systems and define the outcome as being “integrated.” The British Standards Institute defines a progression from “combined” to “integrated” as follows: • Step 1—Combined: Separate management systems are being used at the same time in the same organization. Step 2—Integratable: Common elements in the management systems have been...