Universal Management Principles

The following universal management principles were first published in MSS 1000:2014 and underpinned its creation. They give further elaboration to the definition of integrated management. At their core are three foundation elements; consciousness, process and structure which are the essence of an organization. The principles underpin the philosophy of integrated management and should be carried over into an organization’s management approach and system. Optimal synergistic benefit will be obtained if the principles are applied collectively rather than in isolation. The principles are not necessarily an exhaustive set and additional principles may be added in the future.

Principle 1: Consciousness is the home of management and stakeholder satisfaction

Principle 2: Nature of an organization

Principle 3: Optimization of prospect and risk

Principle 4: Interdependency of structures and processes

Principle 5: Universality of management principles

Principle 6: Top management leadership and commitment

Principle 7: Stakeholder focus, respect and justice

Principle 8: Best use of resources

Principle 9: Integrated management structures and processes

Principle 10: Management system respect, ownership and improvement

Principle 11: Unshackled, appropriate and accountable management

Principle 12: Activity based competence

Principle 13: Orderliness through classification

Principle 14: Informed decision-making

Principle 15: Continual alignment with stakeholder needs and expectations

Principle 16: Overt and covert management arrangements

Principle 17: Unified definitions, concepts and terminology

P1: Consciousness is the home of management and stakeholder satisfaction

The quality of management action depends on the level and clarity of the consciousness of the manager and management teams. The consciousness of a person is the home of their thoughts, decisions, judgement, conceptual understanding including the understanding and the ability to effectively apply management principles. Personnel require a working environment that promotes wellbeing and does not cause stress.  A good working environment nurtures and facilitates creativity, innovation and productivity.

Perceptions of quality, prospect and risk are relativistic and judged according to the individual stakeholder perceptions according to their needs and expectations. Management is conducted by people through people to achieve the organization’s objectives and the relativistic needs and expectations of stakeholders.

P2: Nature of an organization

Organizations are structural and dynamic and consist of people together with commerce, data, matter, energy and suppliers to varying degrees. Organizations, projects, structures and processes exist to fulfil a purpose by delivering value to customers and other stakeholders. An organization can only endure while it continues to fulfil its purpose.

P3: Optimization of prospect and risk

To fulfil their purpose, organizations need to optimise the individual and aggregate prospects and risks associated with equitably satisfying the needs and expectations of their customers and other stakeholders while making the best use of resources. This requires that organizations are competent in managing prospect and risk appropriate to its size, purpose and stakeholders.

P4: Interdependency of structures and processes

Natural or human made structures host processes while processes create, maintain and destroy structures. Nothing exists in isolation within or outside of an organization. The interrelationships between entities are as potentially important as the entities. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts requiring organizations to be managed in an integrated way to deliver synergistic benefits.

P5: Universality of management principles

The principles for managing all facets of an organization’s performance are essentially the same because its structures and processes are the common source that potentially impacts all facets of performance including health, safety, environmental, commercial, reputational, goods and service quality etc. However, it should be noted that intelligent threats such as conflicting stakeholders’ needs and expectations require special attention and where appropriate covert arrangements - see Principle 17: Overt and covert management arrangements.

P6: Top management leadership and commitment

The demonstration by top management of its values and commitment to a fully integrated management system is demonstrated through effective leadership. Leadership includes the establishment of the organization’s vision, mission, strategic planning, policy and resourcing. Proactive transparent behaviour is critical to the organization’s success.

P7: Stakeholder focus, respect and justice

Every aspect of the functionality of the organization must deliver value by directly or indirectly supporting a just and equitable achievement of stakeholder needs and expectations. Stakeholder needs, expectations and aspirations are satisfied by respecting all things valued by them during the delivery of strategic, tactical and operational processes.  Customers are particularly important stakeholders because they can critically impact the commercial viability and profitability of organizations and their reputation. The viability of organizations in general is impacted by the ways that stakeholders can exercise power.

Personnel and teams need to be nurtured, respected, appropriately empowered and treated justly. Justice is important to the individual and its demonstration is important to help create a disciplined, trusting and participative workforce.

P8: Best use of resources

Human, physical and every other type of resource needs to be used effectively and efficiently in an optimal and sustainable way. This includes the minimization of all types of waste.

There must be an optimal balance between the effectiveness and efficiency of structures and processes through their intelligent and creative design, implementation and  operation.

P9: Integrated management structures and processes

Stakeholder needs and expectations can only be effectively and efficiently delivered by strategic, tactical and operational processes which are fully integrated and operate harmoniously together throughout the organization at every level – see Principle 4: Interdependency of structure and process. A process has the potential to impact all facets of an organization’s performance that may in turn impact the needs and expectations of its stakeholders. Effective and efficient processes depend on the universal application of Plan-Do-Check-Act i.e. vertical and horizontal integration without barriers or silos. Synergistic benefits emerge from the application of coherent and integrated management attention achieved through competence, cooperation and effective coordination and the free flow of information and ideas.

P10: Management system respect, ownership and improvement

The management system must serve the needs and expectations of all stakeholders, be universally valued, respected, followed and be responsive to stakeholder suggestions for its improvement. The management system must remain aligned with the evolution of the organization’s stakeholder needs and expectations and its local and wider operating environment.

P11: Unshackled, appropriate and accountable management

Managers need freedom to create optimal solutions and should not be unnecessarily shackled by non-value adding management control. Personnel and teams need to be appropriately nurtured, competent and empowered through responsible and enlightened management delegation so that thought, action and decision making occurs at the optimal place and level throughout the organization – see Principle 1: Consciousness is the home of management and stakeholder satisfaction.

Organizations naturally contain coexisting uniformity and diversity. Generic management controls should be used only where they are appropriate and add value.

NOTE: MSS 1000 provides the freedom for the organization to violate the MSS requirements provided that it is formally justified within the organization’s formal documented management system that an equivalent acceptable standard is being achieved.

P12: Activity based competence

The competence of personnel and teams must align with the current and perceived future needs of the organization’s structures and processes.

P13: Orderliness through classification

The management of structures and processes is simplified by assigning appropriately defined classifications according to their criticality to impact performance. This facilitates the graded and appropriate application of management control e.g. only staff with a particular competency being permitted to work on particular classifications of structure and/or process.

P14: Informed decision-making

Where beneficial, possible and practicable, decision-making by competent people is based on or informed by evidence, experience and systematic analysis within the explicit and tacit knowledge base within or accessible to the organization.

P15: Continual alignment with stakeholder needs and expectations

The management system and the strategy, tactics and operations of the organization need to be continually reviewed and action taken to optimally align them with the evolving needs, expectations and aspirations of the organization's stakeholders making the best use of resources. Understanding of aspirations helps in anticipating changes to needs and expectations. Even though the management system of an organization may in principle become optimised, continual change is still required so that it remains aligned with the evolving requirements of stakeholders while taking account of the internal and external environment of the organization.

P16: Overt and covert management arrangements

An organization’s arrangements should be managed overtly and covertly, as appropriate, to equitably satisfy the needs and expectations of its customers and other stakeholders. See also Principle 7: Stakeholder focus, respect and justice.

P17: Unified definitions, concepts and terminology

Unified definitions, conventions, concepts and terminology improve understanding, accelerate learning, reduce human error and human violation, simplify communication, help create orderliness and reduce occupational stress.

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