Context of the Organization: External issues

Context of the Organization: External issues

Management Systems Implementation
Next up, on the subject of business context as the foundation that a management system is built upon, is the need to determine your external issues. Clause 4 "Context of the Organization" specifies this requirement and pertains to the things outside of the organization that can affect or have an impact on our goals and objectives. In this post, I will be suggesting what things should be considered when determining your external issues and giving you some ideas on how to go about it. What should be considered? External issues are about things outside of the company. I.e. things that you do not have direct control over. They can be anything that is relevant to the intended outcome or purpose of your management system. Here is a list of considerations to get you…
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Context of the organization: Internal issues

Context of the organization: Internal issues

Management Systems Implementation
In my last post, I talked in general about the meaning and intent of the management system clause 4 requirement which covers Context of the Organization. In this post, I'll be talking about one aspect of this process which requires the organization to determine its "internal issues". So what does it mean, "internal issues"? And how might we go about doing it? The word 'issues', in my book, implies a more negative connotation to the subject at hand. But this is not necessarily the literal meaning here. Issues can be thought of as being the source of both risk and opportunity, and I prefer to think about this activity as identifying current business challenges or the current situation. What should be considered? Internal issues are about things inside of the…
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Context of the Organization

Context of the Organization

Management Systems Implementation
"Context of the organization" is essentially a new requirement in managements system standards introduced based on the guidance given to standards writers in Annex SL. However, it is not really a new idea in the grand scheme of things when it comes to all things ISO MSS - management system standards, that is. To get straight to the point then. Through the process of establishing and implementing any management system, an organization will have instinctively addressed many, if not all, of these requirements already, and probably without having realized it. Regardless if you approached this in a formal or an informal way, having a good understanding of the organization's business context is critical if your time and efforts are to bear fruit. For those who are transitioning from an older…
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The importance of context when writing a policy

The importance of context when writing a policy

Management Systems Implementation
For a while now, I've been intending to create and post a couple of example documents for downloading. Yanno, the usual stuff,  such as policies and common management system processes. Sitting here tonight, with nothing better to do, I figured I would get to work on an example/template for an ISMS Policy. Sounds easy enough. I have no problem banging them out when I'm busy at work helping organizations to prepare theirs. But I've been sitting here for hours now and have little to show for it. I'm phrasing it this way, then phrasing it another way, then changing my mind and looking at it from a completely different angle altogether. Which statement should I put in and which should I leave out? Who am I speaking too? What's the purpose…
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