All management systems require a periodic review by the organization’s top management. The purpose of such a review is to evaluate if the management system is performing as intended and if it’s producing the desired results as efficiently as possible. While in review, there are steps that can be taken to make sure your organization’s management review process goes smoothly.
The management review inputs may vary from standard to standard; however, there are some key characteristics that all management reviews should have to ensure its success. These are:
Top management is involved. In order for this process to have the expected outputs, top management needs to attend; they are the ones that decide where the resources – people, time and money- will be placed to improve the management system.
All the required inputs are presented in a simple and clear manner. Every standard is specific about the review’s inputs. This information can sometimes be extensive, therefore, it’s fundamental that it’s presented in an easy to follow way and that it gives an overview of the systems current status, its weaknesses and possible areas for improvement. Here are some examples of the information that needs to be highlighted:
- Internal and external audit results. Number of audit findings. Their current status. Are audit findings increasing or decreasing compared with the year before?
- Corrective and preventive actions. Current status of corrective/preventive actions. Are resources available to effectively close them? Possible trends (are there fewer corrective and preventive actions compared to previous years?)
- Legal compliance. Is the organization complying with all applicable requirements?
- Process performance. Are targets/objectives being reached and maintained?
- Communications and complaints. Has positive or negative feedback been received from interested parties?
- Upcoming changes. Are there any changes that can affect the effectiveness of the system (staff changes, new projects or standards, efficiency improvements, etc.)? What actions/decisions need to be taken?
Outputs are recorded. It is essential to record, as a minimum, the date of the review, participants in the review, decisions taken, deficiencies found in the system and recommendations for improvement or corrective actions. The actions and recommendations to be taken should stipulate deadlines, resources needed and the individuals responsible for the actions.
Management review outputs are monitored. The results of this review should be monitored over time, and if problems persist, more frequent reviews should be scheduled.
Management review is held frequently enough. This review is required at least once a year. It is recommended that during the first two years of the management system, this review is held more frequently (twice a year), and after the system has “matured” it can be performed once a year. However, if it’s considered necessary, a specific topic (audit findings, corrective actions, process performance, etc.) can be reviewed on a more frequent basis.
Broadly speaking, a successful management review process provides top management and everyone responsible for the effectiveness of the management system, a diagnosis of the system’s current situation so deficiencies can be identified, changes and/or actions can be established to correct these deficiencies and recommendations for improvement can be made.