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Management Principles #5

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Principle 5 (ISO 9000): System Approach to Management

It’s ironic. In an industry that designs, engineers, installs, and maintains AV systems, we are perhaps blind to the notion that we have a human system as the engine for these activities. Further, nearly all the AV systems are custom, one-of-a-kind products that require individual teams of specialized effort in order to work together. The success of this human system, so fragile in its interdependence on each sub-system doing their job right, depends on management looking at the whole human system.

This human system also requires proper design, engineering, installation, commissioning, and maintenance.

Unless management accurately identifies and understands each interrelated process, the company will lack effectiveness and the efficiency to keep the company profitable. Each process must be aligned and seamlessly integrated with the other processes, and its management’s job to focus on the key processes. Only when management has done so will interested parties have the confidence that the company is effective, consistent in its quality, and efficient.

When the system is defined, documented, and available for everyone to understand, several things take place:

  • People have a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities. There are less time-wasting conflicts as cross-functional barriers are reduced. Communications, and trust, improve.

  • Structured approaches streamline and harmonize tasks, account for missing elements that assure quality, and remove redundancies that cost the organization time and money.

  • The organization better understands its limits, and allows for additional resources to be quickly applied when occasions warrant it.

  • The organization continuously improves the system through measurement and evaluation.

The Systems Approach: think it, do it, constantly improve it. In the words of W. Edward Deming, “If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

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