ISO 9001 Management Review: 3 Tips to Gain Value


Management review as part of an ISO 9001 management system is a key part of your continual improvement process.

If you're somebody that's struggling with management review as part of the standard, understanding how that fits together as part of the cycle of continual improvement, we're going to take you through our 3 tips for successful management reviews.

Our 3 tips and tricks' that we're going to go through are what we follow here at Best Practice. If you're struggling with management review, if you're feeling frustrated, if you're feeling a bit fuzzy and unclear we're going to demystify what that management review process is all about.

Tip number 1: the management review processes and undertaking what the ISO standards refer to as management review is to considered the frequency and effective frequency.

Consider the effective frequency so you've really got to not be overwhelming people with too much stuff, you've got to get on top of your numbers in a frequency that's short enough to enable you to do small things that still track and keep you on your journey to your goals.

The core objective of the management review is to put all the inputs together, which is how your performance is running, and how you're tracking towards your goals. The most important part of management review is the outputs.

Management review is about readjusting resource management and resources are; time, money and people. Readjust those resources to keep making progress towards your goals.

Management review should look like executive managers, and its people with authority and autonomy to manage the performance of the business getting together on a quarterly basis with a set agenda. It also includes those people who are prepared, bring in their numbers, reports, performance and they bring in their proposals to adjust and track the performance going forward.

Tip number 2 for management review is about preparation and preparation is about planning. What's the plan? Think about who, what, when, where, and how, the why which you might think is missing, is all about your goals, your strategy.

Aiming for wicked management reviews or awesome management reviews is about planning; it's about the participants as part of management review not just turning up for a meeting saying right what's up. It's about coming prepared with the plan, a set of actions to negotiate, an idea on how I'm going to run this play, how I'm going to do this thing and then consulting and negotiating with the other key players on the team to ensure there's not going to be conflict.

Apart of that preparation is bringing in the numbers and knowing the numbers. Knowing the numbers, knowing the goal, knowing whether you're on track or off track and then really unpacking before you get to that management review what your proposed course of action might be so that you can liaise with the other key players that you may need assistance from to actually get those results.

All the different key teams, depending on how your business is divided, have a small mini business plans that's on for example 3 slides so they can present and initiate a discussion around what they're proposing to do.

They will inform the teams about what they're going to do to move forward and then solicit some assistance from those teams. Remember it's about achieving the performance that they're forecasting and ultimately achieve their goals individually and as as the business as a whole.

Tip number three is all about leadership and influence. It's developing the leadership skills that are required to lead that team and inspire that team towards the dream or the goal of the business.

Looking at influence skills, leadership skills, communication skills and this question that we use a lot here at Best Practice; "the solution lies in the mind with the problem".

Think about how you can achieve great open questioning: 'what are we going to do about that?', 'When are we going to do it?', 'How are we going to do it?', 'Who's going to be involved?', 'What resources might we need?', 'What adjustments might we need to make to the business?', 'What changes might we need to make to the business?', and 'How will we roll those things out?' Are all important questions to be asking.

With good preparation and some good open questions, you're going to put the problem in the mind of your executives, the problems that exist maybe in other parts of the business, and start asking questions to extract and mine the solutions to get a successful result.

Often we do say that the solution lies in the room and it lies in the collective minds of the room. For executives out there, for business leaders out there and for key strong personalities in groups there's a tip that I learnt a few years ago and that is to speak last.

Its about putting the question out there and speaking last so that you don't bias the group with what you think the solution might be or even what you think the problem might be.

Just to quickly recap on what our three tips and tricks are for management reviews;

1. An effective frequency and the effective frequency we run is quarterly.

2. Proper prior preparation and planning.

3. Effective leadership and influence in the context of extracting value and a return on investment from your managers.

So what does that all look like?

What that looks like is regular management reviews, and I'd highly recommend quarterly, with your executive team and the people that have the power of autonomy to lead their parts of the business all coming together to come up with solutions that are going to be integrated, consulted and effective in achieving goals in the future.

Your executives are going to be planning for those meetings, they've done adequate preparation to enable them to have robust discussion about how the teams are going to work together to achieve the goals of the business.

You will have an MC , a leader, a convener or possibly an independent person facilitating those workshops, someone who's got good influence skills, good leadership skills to keep the conversations on track and to be extracting the value from the participants.

You're going to have a meeting that finishes on time, that's well planned to a set agenda and you're going to end up with adjustments to the business in terms of a plan and resourcing that can be executed on a to-do list.

This is how you will see the results start to change for the better in your monitoring and measurement and a business that is marked for improvement.

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