Business Plans vs. Management Systems Meeting ISO Standards
As a manager, you have always been taught to have a business plan. Outlined ahead is the structure of both a business plan and a business management system so you can quickly see the difference between the two.
As a member of the plenary group in Canada to bring auditor certification to the country, initiated by the Chartered Accountants of Canada, I brought to the attention of the banks the need to make the business plan structure more like the management system structure, so that companies would sustain their businesses for the long term.
The first component that is missing in the business plan is the process approach, which requires the business owner to identify the interconnection of its business processes.
The emphasis in the business plan is on “planning,” not on the sustainability of the business management system. A management system structure requires the organization to identify its risks tied to its processes in its planning stages, and then to put in place support systems and controls. The emphasis in a management system is on continual improvement of running the business by monitoring and measuring operations and ensuring data analysis and performance evaluation through internal and third-party audits. This is a key area that is missing in the business plan (see Figure 11.1).