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How to Implement a Management System (in 5 key steps!)

Implementation of a management system is about getting the most out of your system and not simply it being a suite of documents. This means that we want to engage, communicate, identify roles and responsibilities for the successful outcome of the system.

Without a successful implementation of a management system, you will just have a suite of documents, processes, policies, procedures. They only become a true management system when the people involved really embrace them. People are at the center of our business and therefore, we must ensure that people are at the center of our management system and its functionality.

In this video, I will outline 5 key steps that you can follow if you want to implement a management system.

Step 1: Communication

In order for a successful implementation of a system to happen, we have to ensure that our leaders are communicating well with the workforce from top to bottom. They must communicate what it is we are trying to achieve, and importantly, what the benefits to the organization and people within the organization are.

Step 2: Awareness

Remember, I explained that people are at the center of what it is that we do in our business, but they only know what we want them to know. Therefore, we need to make employees aware of the practices that we're expecting them to follow.

What is it that we need them to be aware of? How they are going to undertake the practices we expect them to? What are the implications of them not following our management system once implemented?

Awareness must be followed up with regular engagement and conversation.

Step 3: Objectives & Targets

Set clear expectations of what we want to achieve within our business and provide these to all relevant teams. It may be that we have high level objectives that get cascaded down so it's important that employees understand how they contribute to high-level objectives.

Therefore cascading them down into more manageable targets that are trying to be achieved inside departments and teams and having individuals contribute to them is extremely important.

Not simply just having this “in the clouds objective or strategy”. It's much more about how these objectives and targets are cast down through the business, and how the people within our organization can drive towards this.

Step 4: Roles & Responsibilities

Start from the top and set roles and accountabilities ensuring that the leadership understand what they're accountable for, and how we drive these roles and responsibilities down through the organization.

Employees roles may be able to align with the objectives and targets that are set and we should always consider reviewing the roles within our business as things change, and evolve as part of an implementation plan.

Step 5: Measure & Improve

Remove the perception and focus on factual performance. How are we actually achieving in this implementation plan? It's not just about having documents in a folder that people can go to. It's much more about the system and how it's used, and should be about the way we run our business.

Have we achieved what we set out to achieve based on the targets and objectives that we set ourselves? How well are we performing against them based on measurable data?

Measurement data can help drive positive behaviors within our workforce - giving them feedback on what they’re contributing to is a very important factor. Measurement will also allow us to identify some weak areas - areas that are not performing as well as we had hoped, which can have improvements dedicated to them.


Edward Deming said, “Each organization is composed of a system of interrelated processes and people, which make up the system's components”.

If we think about that statement, people are a profound element of any system to function. Therefore, we have to ensure a successful implementation through the use of our people and engagement with them for our management systems to be successful.


  1. It's not about documents - it's about how they are used

  2. Focus on the human factors as part of the implementation program

  3. Remember the key areas of awareness and engagement

  4. Always provide support, where possible

For more content related to management systems, click here.

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