Management system mind
out the logic of managing any process, from making an apple pie to
running a transglobal company.
our everyday life, we try to plan before we act. We plan what or where to eat; where to go after work; what to buy;
how long it takes to reach home. We all make so many plans throughout
the day that we can truly say that a compulsion to plan with
foresight is the outcome of the evolution of the human brain.
is the 'thinking' component' of our lives to get us to where we want
to be, whether that is an actual geographical destination or a
salary. A plan consists
of decisions about what we want to achieve and what we must do to be
Basically a conservation plan sets a target for the condition of a system, and schedules
the work neccesary as inputs to the system
in order to control positive and negative factors that influence the system's condition.
The results, or outputs, of this work plan change the
system towards the target condition, which is known
as the outcome of the plan. If the inputs are not
producing the desired outcome they are adjusted by the planners in
an adaptive loop. This defines the planning cycle as a dynamic
The first step to make a conservation plan for a
species is to answer the following two questions.
Question 1 What is the
measurable objective for the species as an ecological
This can be answered by completing the following sentence
' "The objective is to maintain the red squirrel in a favourable
condition where the population size, measured by ???? is within the
range ?" The population can be measured using any of its attributes.
These attributes will be monitored regularly as performance
indicators to determine the success of management (see below).
Question 2 What are the major
factors that have to be controlled to enable you to reach your
Factors can have a positive or negative effect on the feature.
Each factor has to have a scientific rationale which can be used as
a basis for scheduling management projects to control it.
The CMSi database of the CMSC defines a project-based approach
to manipulate the controlling factors. That is to say a factor is
addressed by one or more management projects, which define how the
work is to be done, who is to do it, when they are to do it and what
resources they will need. At the end of each management project the
results are recorded and a monitoring project is scheduled to check
what effect the management project has had on the condition of the
The results of monitoring performance indicators is recorded as
the outcome of the project. At any time, the effectiveness of
management is related to the difference between the favourable state
that was defined as the objective and the actual state determined by
For those moving from a project based activity, Question 2 can
be answered by reviewing all the projects currently underway
and separating out those that have an effect on the the
particular feature of interest. The important thing is to
relate these projects to particular factors and to the over-arching
So far, all of this can be done with spread sheets and topic
outliners. What the CMSi does it use a relational database to
channel a manager into the above logic. It systematically gets
he/she to relate jobs to projects and projects to the control of
specific factors linked with an integral monitoring procedure. In
addition, filters can be applied to the database to produce job
sheets and various reports on jobs and outcomes for individuals and
groups. All of these elements of the CMSi support continuity of
management and ensure that any changes in a plan are made against a
well documented long term process of planning and recording.
Thinking about making apple pies helps in
understanding the basic ideas behind planning and evaluating the
effectiveness of our plans as a general planning/recording
objective in making the pie is to provide a pleasurable eating
experience. This eating experience is the
desired outcome and it is measured (monitored) by its
To meet the objective of making
an apple pie needs certain inputs: the motivation of the cook, a
suitable time slot, the recipe, the ingredients, and the availability
of an oven. The quality of each of these inputs (the resources) will
have a significant impact on the state of the final
process of making the pie includes a sequence of actions which
comprise the method; following the recipe, preparing the apples,
mixing the pastry, setting the oven and baking the pie for the
required time at the required temperature. The quality of these
processes will affect the result of precisely managing our actions
according to the best procedure.
output is the pie itself.
outcome is the result of the pie i.e. the meal. The eating of the
pie is in fact the objective of managing its production, and the
properties of the pie, i.e. its state or condition, determine the
quality of the eating experience. A performance indicator to
communicate the outcome to others would be whether or not the pie is
fit to eat.
planning along these lines is vital to the success of all projects
no matter what the scale or our professional standing. Planning may
feel like a frustrating delay to action, but often saves
Time is saved because planning
determine whether the task should be attempted
work out the most effective way of managing our actions to reach the
prepare to overcome things that stand in our way (controlling
take advantage of opportunities available to do a better job
(controlling positive factors) .
is beneficial because it prompts us to:
stock of the current position
precisely what is to be achieved as a target
and schedule the 'who', 'what', 'when', 'where', 'why' and
'how' of achieving the target.
whether the effort, costs and implications of achieving the plan are
worth the achievement.
control mechanisms (for example reporting, quality or cost control)
that are needed to steer a course of actions to achieve a
target that is measurable.
a yardstick to measure how close we are to the target (monitoring
with performance indicators).
the impact of the plan on our organisation and the people within it,
and on the outside world.
plan is really a mind map which can be made as a
simple ‘to do list’, a tree diagram or a computer database
consisting of sets of actions on one-to-many linked
order to make a plan for a nature site the manager has to gather
information in order to:
all the relevant facts about the site and its
all the legislation and policies that will govern both the process
and outcomes of management.
or confirm the most important wildlife and natural
all the important cultural features: historic, archaeological,
religious, landscape, etc.
objectives for all the important wildlife
objectives for all important cultural
identify the range of facilities or opportunities that the site will
provide for visitors.
monitoring and surveillance programmes to ensure that managers are
aware, year to year, of the status of all the important
features and the quality of the experience provided for
all the management and recording activities required to manage the
and justify all the resource requirements, both human and
all the above in a cohesive, logical, dynamic and iterative process,
which endures that feedback from the actual outcome is used to
evaluate the effectiveness of the inputs.
a plan meets all the above functions it can:
resolve both internal and external conflicts.
continuity of effective management.
used to demonstrate that management is appropriate, i.e. effective
used to bid for resources.
decision making, whenever appropriate, and to communicate these
decisions and their outcomes to all interested individuals groups
can be thought of as a process that prioritises ideas, assesses
their relevance and potential, and answers the following sequence of
practical questions which are going to determine your
is the goal and how will it be reached?
are the required resources and how much will everything cost?
does the project timeline look like?
How will the project
be checked to find out if it is working and successful?
necessary actions are then scheduled to answer five essential
questions which define the action plan.
are we here?
have we got?
do we want?
must we do?
most important question is ‘What do we want?’ because it sets the
answered in the form of a vision statement written in plain language
so that everyone is aware of the desired outcome of management. The
following three paragraphs are a vision statement describing the
desired outcome of managing a Welsh upland oak woodland on acid
entire site is covered by a high forest, broadleaf woodland. The
woodland is naturally regenerating, with plenty of seedlings and
saplings particularly in the canopy gaps. There is a changing or
dynamic pattern of canopy gaps created naturally by wind throw or as
woodland has a canopy and shrub layer that includes locally native
trees of all ages, with an abundance of standing and fallen dead
wood to provide habitat for invertebrates, fungi and other woodland
species. The field and ground layers are a patchwork of the
characteristic vegetation communities developed in response to local
soil conditions. These include areas dominated by heather, or
bilberry, or a mixture of the two, areas dominated by tussocks of
wavy hair grass or purple moor grass, and others dominated by brown
bent grass and sweet vernal grass with abundant bluebells. There are
quite heavily grazed areas of more grassy vegetation. Steep rock
faces and boulder sides are covered with mosses, liverworts and
lichen flora varies naturally depending on the chemical properties
of the rocks and tree trunks within the woodland. Trees with
lungwort and associated species are fairly common, especially on the
well-lit woodland margins.
The woodland does not contain any
rhododendron or any other invasive alien species with the exception
of occasional beech and sycamore. There is periodic light grazing by
sheep and very occasionally by cattle. This helps to maintain the
ground and field layer vegetation but does not prevent tree