Management System Planning
Planning is the subject of many sage quotes but arguably none so well known as “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. It is unclear who first said this but from our experience it is as true today as it ever was.
Within the management system context (whether occupational health & safety [OHSMS], environmental [EMS] or quality [QMS]) planning is the first phase of the continuous ‘plan-do-check-act’ cycle.
Plans are made:
- Before the management system is developed,
- As part of the system development,
- To manage communication and consultation,
- To ensure implementation,
- And otherwise throughout its life to ensure continuous improvement.
What to Plan?
Unfortunately this is one of those questions with a, less than helpful, “it depends” answer; with the variable being primary focused on the maturity of the system.
No Management System
If an organisation has no form of management system then the need for a system, as well as its size, purpose, structure and so on, all have to be determined. In this case the planning activities should focus on information gathering, stakeholder engagement and design specifications.
New Management System
Assuming the organisation has some form of management system, planning should focus on identifying those areas that require further development, as well as ensuring the effective implementation of existing elements.
According to OSHEM Solutions’ Peter Gaul, these plans should be linked to risk. “It is very easy for organisations to get caught up in fads or those things they see competitors or other organisations focusing on. It is crucial that management system plans aim to continually reduce business risk and that management keep a focus on managing what matters in their business.”
Mature Management System
Organisations with a mature environmental and/or OHS management system know that planning is about achieving objectives and continuous improvement. These organisations have a strong planning culture and use a combination of performance measures and corrective / preventative action to ensure they succeed.
OSHEM Solutions provides a range of Occupational Health, Safety (OHSMS) and Environmental Management System (EMS) planning Services. Whether your organisation is considering developing an Environmental and/or OHS Management System, wishes to further implement policies and procedures or wanting to upgrade, integrate or seek certification of your system, we have highly qualified Environmental and OHS Consultants who can assist.
Contact us for an obligation free discussion on how we can assist you in improving your planning processes and ultimately your OH&S and Environmental performance.