Perhaps every organization today operates with some form of a management system. Management systems vary from the extremely sophisticated, with well-crafted standards and policies guiding the behaviors and actions of all workers, to the informal organization, with loosely held work practices and behaviors adopted by the leader of the organization. Regardless of the type of management system, it is an essential requirement to manage the performance of an organization. Some of the more clearly defined and developed management systems are adopted and used by today’s leading organizations. Among them are the following:

• Operations integrity management system (OIMS)—ExxonMobil • Operations management system (OMS)—BP • Operational excellence management system (OEMS)—Suncor Energy • Operational excellence management system (OEMS)—Chevron

The authors define a management system as a series of policies, standards, procedures, and work practices that govern people, processes, and facilities management within an organization. The discipline applied in conforming to these policies, standards, procedures, and work practices determines the ultimate business performance of the organization. Some may argue that management systems are required only for large organizations; however, the authors suggest that regardless of the scale and scope of operations, businesses do better with a well-crafted management system. Executing a management system across a small organization is significantly less difficult than doing so across a larger organization, and requires a disciplined approach.