In Reply to Parent Post by JABee
Yes, absolutely Mr. Broomfield, and not only in the world at large, but this has happened in my own career as well, and IMHO this is why:
I started out as a process development/design/quality engineer, and it took me too long to learn that the most perfectly engineered, elegant solution is useless if it is not implemented. Why wouldn't such a thing be implemented? Because just like a physical manufacturing process, management systems are processes too, and subject to normal and assignable variations, scrap (wasted efforts, solutions not implemented), etc... A system is a system is a system.
Hell, look at Demings 14 points: Drive out fear, break down barriers between departments, adopt the new philosophy... sounds like design requirements for a management system to me. There's nothing in there about controlled documents versus records, calibration programs, or even SPC control charting; you know, all of those things QA Departments do... they are necessary tools, but to use any tool effectively, the brain that guides the hand holding the tool has to work. Management.
The difference between production systems and management systems is that when seeking to improve a production system, a broken management system will trump a good production solution every time. You don't have to get shut down in the 11th hour of implementing a production solution very many times before you realize what is actually holding you back is a broken system of management. Being problem solvers at heart, (hopefully) we take a step back, roll up the sleeves, and address the newly found limiting factor. Same problem solving process as before except now your solutions are in the realm of perceptions, motivations, and communications, not physical characteristics. Good process solutions are still necessary, but an effective system of change management can arrive at those by brute force trial and error faster than an elegant process solution can cut through broken management.
So I look back in my career and ask, "What things that I have done over the years returned the most value to the enterprises?" Has it been the mechanical and process designs I've been proud of, or solving a particularly knotty chronic defect with careful study, or has it been (more recently) tackling bottlenecks in management processes? Hands down, management system solutions have had the best return. Imagine my surprise, me the engineer, thinking about management processes. The end result is still a better product at lower cost, and isn't that what I set out to do so many years ago?