Published: 9 Aug 2016

Ian Dalling explains how MSS 1000:2014 will impact on the future of the quality professional.

Quality professionals now have free access to a very powerful management tool called MSS 1000:2014, with many novel features that will help them gain recognition, respect and influence at the highest levels of management.

It is a universal management system that facilitates the creation of a fully integrated management system without boundaries. It empowers an organisation to manage its entire functionality in a fully joined up and coherent way. It is no longer necessary to grapple with multiple and proliferating fragmented management system standards.

A decade ago, many quality professionals denied that the current normality of the IMS was possible, let alone likely. Since the beginning of the new millennium, there has been a paradigm shift in the general attitude towards designing management systems and their scope.

Research conducted on CQI and IIRSM members in 2011 demonstrated that four out of five of organisations already had an IMS or were intending to implement one.

It also showed that the impetus for integrated management was coming from the organisations and not professional standards, certification or academic bodies – it was a natural wisdom emerging from organisations tasked with having to satisfy multiple stakeholder needs, expectations and aspirations.

Structures and processes

Many organisations now have an IMS addressing compliance with multiple HSEQ standards. However, some have gone beyond this and implemented a full scope integrated management system addressing the total management of their organisation.

In principle, an IMS may be used to direct any aspect of an organisation’s structure or processes and simultaneously address compliance with any management requirement in a standard or aspect of legislation if it uses a taxonomy that fully supports integrated management.

However, the means of doing this can be technically challenging for the inexperienced and the opportunities to become proficient in fully integrated management systems are likely to be limited for most quality management practitioners.

ISO has attempted to make this easier by standardising the headings of its management system standards, but each discipline’s content is still not fully integrated across the various standards to provide a holistic sense – this is left to the individual organisations. There is also an absence of a complete set of universal of definitions.

Order from chaos

In contrast to the primitive ISO taxonomy, MSS 1000:2014 uses an advanced hierarchical taxonomy and was first published in Quality World in April 2011 titled ‘Order from chaos’, and presented later that year at a CQI Nuclear SIG conference held at Harwell in the UK.

The ingenuity of the MSS 1000 taxonomy is that all management system issues can be logically mapped to it without any residue needing to be addressed individually. MSS 1000:2014 enables just twelve management control procedures to manage the whole organisation. Quality and risk management principles are subsumed into a seamless structure.

It is easy to become absorbed in the management of the present and blind to the trends of time and how management is evolving. If quality professionals wish to stay relevant, continue to add value and endure, they must likewise learn, adapt and evolve.

Their approach and competence must be no less joined up and integrated than the aspirations of the organisations they seek to serve.

Future stakeholders will demand that every structure and process, whatever its purpose, optimally fulfils the needs and expectations of all stakeholders while making best use of all resources.

MSS 1000:2014 has been specifically designed to empower quality professionals to achieve that objective and gain recognition and respect at the highest levels of management.

While silo disciplines, including quality specialisms, will always have their place in providing expert advice and support it will be the role of the ‘super IMS professional’ to take the lead and who will need to be as comfortable with prospect and risk principles as quality principles.

Ian Dalling is director of Unified Management Systems.