In its most basic sense, a management system is how organizations ensure things get done. If your organization holds regular staff meetings, those are part of its management system. If you have reminders to yourself on post-it notes strewn about your desk, those are part of your management system. Taken as a whole, all of the processes, formal and informal, that enable your organization to deliver its products or services, make up its management system.
As the examples above show, management systems can be simple or complex, ongoing or ad hoc, standard across the organization or distinct to individuals. And of course, different management systems can result in varying degrees of effectiveness. Obviously, what works for one organization may not be optimal for another. What’s more interesting, however, is that the management system that got your organization to where it is, may not be the right one to get your organization where you want it to be in the future.
As organizations evolve so should their management systems. An informal, ad hoc system may work just fine for a start-up with 3 employees working out of a garage. The same system, however, is unlikely to result in the effective communication, consistency, and knowledge sharing required to successfully scale that same company.
So what’s the right management system for your organization? Stay tuned next week for a follow-up article on what makes an effective management system. To get alerted when this article is released, you can subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter here.
In the meantime, you may want to assess your current management system with our free Strategic Performance Index.