Integrated Management System

Integrated system is a broad topic with varying perspectives. Definitely, in the fast moving world, the necessity of an integrated System is inevitable. Organizations all over the world are increasingly concerned to improve their management systems to ensure their sustenance in the competitive markets. There are a wide variety of standards demanded by the markets, say like ISO standards which are popular in European countries where as CMMI in American countries. These models or standards like CMMI, ISO 9001, ISO 13485 etc are frameworks for setting up a Quality Management System (QMS). There are cases where organizations are looking for setting up other management systems like Information Security Management System (ISMS), Environmental Management System (EMS) etc. either in a segregated manner or integrated manner. But while defining, implementing and maintaining the management system, the organization experiences high difficulty in relation to the needs of the organization and the levels of integration of these management systems.
Integrated Management System (IMS) is beneficial not only for the organization, but also for the auditors. But setting up of an IMS has to be very careful so that it won’t compromise any of the required practices of as well as not a burden upon the employees of the organization in order to implement and maintain the same. In many cases IMS will be compliant to the required models and standards, if there are experts to interpret the same. But usability part of the same will be on the minimal side as practitioners might face difficulty to get the required information based on the nature of the project they are doing. It will be a cumbersome task for the practitioners to search the entire IMS for adapting to their requirements. Hence integration of the standards requires some changes to the organization as integrating the actual management system, stake holder collaboration, user friendly deployment of IMS etc.

A defined process should be supportive to the practitioners/users. There should not be any compromise not only for process compliance but also for easiness of use. There are three cases to be resolved here.

1. Designing of Intranet portal:

The intranet portal should be defined in such a manner that anyone in the organization should understand the OSSP and use the same for defining their process (Defined Software Process- DSP).

For this a four dimensional matrix needs to be defined as below containing Workflows, Applicable lifecycle phases, Applicable models/standards and the IMS in each axes. When a practitioner chooses the required workflows, applicable life cycle phases and applicable models/standards from the validation already given all the required IMS to be followed should be automatically populated in the system.

For example, if a practitioner chooses the requirements as compliance to ISO 9001, CMMI ML2, IEC 61508, ISO 9001, and workflow as prototype with life cycle phases as requirement analysis and coding alone, then the OSSP which should be adhered should be automatically populated in the fourth axis and it should include all the applicable procedures, formats, guidelines, handbooks, tools, etc in the IMS.

As and when new artifacts are added to IMS, there should be provision to enter the necessary details (regarding workflow, applicable phases, model/standard compliance) so that it appears in the above user friendly matrix form in the Intranet portal

In case of formats, categorization using excel tabs in template form should be opted.

2. Designing of integrated project management tool

An integrated project management tool is one which supports the day to day project execution activities. Basically there are different attributes for a project ( workflows, applicable life cycle phases, applicable model/standard complice, language, project category, nature of development )to be addressed in the tool.

Validation should be available for each attribute in a drop down menu. Workflow menu should be validated with project category and nature of development.

Now based on selections for workflow, models/standards and applicable life cycle phases a task list should be populated in the integrated management tool for the project. Also there should be some methodology to allocate the tasks to individuals. Also provision should be available to add new tasks other than the populated list.

3. Automation:

There are a lot much documentation created for the sake of process compliance. For example let us take the case of project plan documentation. If there is an integrated management tool a lot many details should be entered in the tool during project creation. So it might be a matter of exporting the details to the required PP templates form which will save a huge effort of the practitioners. Firstly, it should be identified the areas where unwanted effort is spent purely for documentation purpose. Then some in-house tools needs to be developed or purchased if automation is possible based on the organization demand.