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How will Sunderland cope without Big Sam

ISO 9001 Quality / Friday 22nd of July 2016

Would Sunderland AFC pass an audit now that Big Sam is England Manager

Congratulations to Big Sam on his appointment to England Manager. It has to be the biggest challenge in English Football with incredible expectation and pressure. However, we think Sam is the man for the job. In line with our recent blogs, we take an alternative look at this situation through the lens of a Quality Management System. In particular, what will Sunderland AFC do now?

A management system meeting the ISO 9001:2015 standard would ensure that CHANGE MANAGEMENT was covered as a particular risk, and in addition, Sunderland AFC would need to ensure that ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE wasn’t lost.

Looking at CHANGE MANAGEMENT, SAFC seem to have ticked the box. When the England manager recruitment process started, and Alladyce was touted as a likely candidate, Sunderland reacted promptly in looking for a replacement. Fortunately, they were approached by a seemingly suitable candidate in former Manchester United manager, David Moyes.

ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE is a difficult thing to resolve. The organisation will be left bereft of the wealth of knowledge about the club, its operation and most specifically the players that Alladyce the key “back room” staff who go with him will have. This knowledge would include player performance, attitude, strengths and weaknesses and how they play to a system.

Alladyce is known for his attention to detail and getting the best performance from limited resource, often supported by performance data. This part of the ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE should remain available in the forms of stats, as long as SAFC have someone to interpret the data and give the information to the new Manager, the better they will be able to cope with the change.

However, Sunderland will not be able to retain the information, the knowledge and experience which is part of Alladyce himself. For that, they will have to rely on the new Manager. A key tool in this will be person specification and this will only be tested through the Interview process. It will be a risk, and could have major consequences for continuity and success.

Time will tell. England are clearly happy with Sam, and he seems happy as well. Sunderland have reacted well and have a plan and replacement in hand. From an ISO point of view, it seems as good as it can be. One thing is for sure, Football Clubs get lots of practice at changing managers, but that’s not a strategy we would recommend!