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Do You Feel Valued at Work?

August 12, 2015


Do you feel valued at work? Honestly? I come across so many people who are frustrated, unhappy, or under-utilised.

There is new standard that can help.

BS 76000 provides a framework for organisations to value people, for the mutual benefit of both parties.

This principles-based management system standard is based on the premise that people are an organization’s biggest asset and should be treated as such – so that the organisation gets the most out of them, and people get the most out of their working life.

The central principles are:

  • The interests of staff and other stakeholders are integral to the best interests of an organisation
  • The organisation is part of wider society and has a responsibility to operate in a fair and socially responsible manner
  • Commitment to valuing people should come from the most senior leaders of an organisation
  • The people who work for an organisation have rights over and above those in law or regulation, and these rights and legal protections are respected by the organisation

BS 76000 uses the core structure and common text developed by ISO for all its management system standards, with additional guidance inserted to make it easier to understand and implement. Therefore, it is possible to integrate BS 7600 into your current management system.

This standard was developed by experts from industry bodies, employers and unions, and refined by a 100-day public consultation.

BS 76000 will help organizations of all sizes recognise the actual and potential value of their people and help develop a new and effective working partnership for sustainable success.

Contact me for help and advice in getting the best from implementing this standard in your business.


Detail Process Charting – the ONLY Serious Methodology

July 27, 2015

I have had many years’ experience helping organisations to understand their own processes and then set about creating better ones. Through the years, I have used many different types of software to help document processes, including MS Visio. I am frequently asked how I document a process, and I understand there is no ‘right’ or wrong’ way, but some solutions are more effective than others.

Detail process charting is the solution I employ. It is the only method that I know will highlight:

  • what is done
  • who does it
  • when is it done
  • what adds value
  • what is involved

Detail process charting isn’t a well known methodology, and yet, in my experience it is the only way to really understand a process. Until you truly understand something, you will struggle to improve it. Detailed process charts, are, detailed! And so they turn some people off. That’s because they may seem intimidating and leave nothing to chance. Also, creating a detailed process chart is a skill in itself. It is NOT flowcharting!

Detailed process charts flow left to right, and in no other way. A new line is created for each object in the process and the line continues until the object reaches it’s end of life. The charts clearly show the contribution of each object. Identifying value-added activities is far more precise. They enable the ability to design improved and new processes.

For example, take the following process:

SW Order

It’s a straight forward process, created in MS Viso and very easy to understand.

But who is involved? What is involved? How are things actually done?

Consider the following version, created as a detailed process chart:


Now, admittedly, I couldn’t include the entire diagram, and it appears very small here, but it covers the same process.

It also clearly indicates HOW the process operates, who performs the work, what is produced, what happens to them, etc.

Now, if you are going to improve a business process, which method would YOU trust?

5 Ways the Revised ISO 14001 will be Better

July 21, 2015


The Impact of Standards

July 1, 2015

New independent research into the contribution of standards to the UK economy has just been published. It finds that standards boost UK productivity and improve performance, kick-start innovation, and support UK domestic and international trade.

According to the research, reported by BSI:

  • 37.4% of UK productivity growth can be attributed to standards
  • 28.4% of annual UK GDP growth can be attributed to standards, equivalent to £8.2 billion
  • £6.1 billion of additional UK exports can be attributed to standards annually

Do you agree with these stats?

How are standards helping your business?

ISO 14001: 2015 Update

June 24, 2015

The revision of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems is in its final stages with publication due in October.

The new standard has an increased focus on legal compliance, introducing the need to maintain a good knowledge and understanding of compliance obligations. This requirement will become an ongoing process, rather than an annual evaluation adopted by many organisations. Businesses need to be prepared for both internal and external auditors looking for clear evidence of an organisation’s level of compliance.

Another key change in the standard is a business’s understanding of what leads to compliance obligations. Businesses will need to assess risk using a much wider approach, not simply assessing how business activities cause a direct risk to the environment. This analysis must look at the causes and impact of environmental and legal impacts, both now and in the future.

This places legal obligation within the risk and opportunities context, meaning businesses will have to be far more aware of their future compliance obligations and how that impacts their strategy and planning.


The Top 5 Reasons Why Organisations Use an External Project Manager

June 10, 2015

A project manager is someone who is in overall charge of the planning and execution of a particular project. That’s quite a large brief! In my experience, it includes:

  • getting the best out of people
  • exerting influence
  • mentoring
  • managing expectations
  • having an eye for detail
  • understanding quality and standards in the context of project objectives
  • making decisions that are in the interest of the overall project

But why do more and more organisations use external help when it comes to implementing their own projects?

I guess one of the reasons that I am asked to project manage for my clients is that there is already a relationship and the trust is there.

But speaking to other companies whom I have managed projects for without a previous working relationship was quite interesting. Collectively, here are the 5 main reasons why my clients opted for me to manage their projects over assigning them internally:

  1. Our staff respond in a much more positive way when dealing with external resource
  2. None of us have the time to manage so many different people and their contributions to the project
  3. If we did it ourselves the scope would change 1000 times and it would never get done
  4. We never even thought of defining the risks associated with our project. Your expertise ensured risks and issues were identified and managed from the outset.
  5. You applied structure to the project, whereas we would have created an Excel chart and hoped it would work.

Are any of these familiar to you?

Number 1 was an interesting answer. Why do you think staff respond better to an ‘outsider’ rather than to a colleague?

Why You Should Always Project Manage

May 20, 2015

Some organisations are able to deliver projects successfully, whilst others struggle to reap any sort of benefit from a project.

Do you recognise any of these traits?

  • Projects completed late, over-budget or without meeting the objectives
  • Weak standards used within the project
  • Management of the project is reactive rather than proactive
  • Buy-in from your people is hard work; difficult to understand the value of the project
  • Projects are considered an ‘overhead’

Good project management discipline is the way to overcome these shortcomings. Having good project management skills does not mean you have no problems. It does not mean that risks go away. It does not mean that there are no surprises. The value of good project management is that you have standard processes in place to deal with all contingencies.

Project management processes and techniques are used to coordinate resources to achieve predictable results. However, it should be understood that project management is not an exact science and there is never a guarantee of success. Since projects involve people, there is always complexity and uncertainty that cannot be absolutely controlled.

For more information, visit my website here.


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