The ‘engine’ that forever drives the management system towards continual improvement
The IMS-Smart approach to continual improvement is shown diagrammatically in the diagram below.
Reading from left to right:
The actions that are taken should be recorded. The nature of that record will in the first instance be governed by the need for action was identified in the first place. For example, if the need for action was identified as part of an internal audit, the action would be documented as part of that internal audit. Further records should be made, for example when the performance of the action is reviewed at a management review, the record in this case being a item in the minutes of the review meeting.
It should go without saying that if an action results in a change to the IMS or its controls than that change must be reflected in the IMS documentation and there will be version control records to support it.
However, in order to avoid IMS management becoming a bureaucratic and ineffective process, it is important to ensure that all actions:
Indeed priority should be assigned on the basis of reward (i.e. the likelihood of that benefit occurring) and/or the risk (i.e. the likelihood of that impact occurring). Key to successful internal control is the ability to focus corrective action and improvements on new rewards and risks and significantly changed rewards and risks. Thus it must be these that received the greatest priority of any corrective/preventive action or improvement.
Our preferred way to do this is use a To-Do-List. This serves as a permanent record of actions taken to manage the IMS. An example layout is show in the figure below:
The overall effect of this phase of the cycle is to hone the IMS to ensuring that the organisation marshals its resources in the most effective manner to achieve its objectives and continues to do so despite the changing world around it.
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|Page last updated: December 27, 2022|