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More Positive Internal Auditing - Would This Work?

K

kgott

#1
I'm sure many on this form would agree that our internal audits are not supposed to be negative but we also know this view and the suspicion that goes with it is often hard to deny. While process oriented auditing is likely to see a change in this perception, is it possible that we can achieve better results if we were to try and reverse the way internal audits are done by focusing on and emphasising the positives by seeking answers to questions like these:

· What processes are working well?
· Why has noticeable improvement taken place?
· Who were the drivers behind these initiatives?
· How have these positive changes been encouraged and celebrated?
· How have these successes been used to drive further desired changes?
· How can these successes be used to accelerate this trend?


I would appreciate thoughts on the positives and negatives of this idea but also on the difficulties that may be encountered in an attempt to audit like this.
thanks
 
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qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#2
I'm sure many on this form would agree that our internal audits are not supposed to be negative but we also know this view and the suspicion that goes with it is often hard to deny. While process oriented auditing is likely to see a change in this perception, is it possible that we can achieve better results if we were to try and reverse the way internal audits are done by focusing on and emphasising the positives by seeking answers to questions like these:

· What processes are working well?
· Why has noticeable improvement taken place?
· Who were the drivers behind these initiatives?
· How have these positive changes been encouraged and celebrated?
· How have these successes been used to drive further desired changes?
· How can these successes be used to accelerate this trend?


I would appreciate thoughts on the positives and negatives of this idea but also on the difficulties that may be encountered in an attempt to audit like this.
thanks
It seems ok. We usually ask for those in ISO TS compliance when checking continual improvement process in place as well as in the management review process audit when we review how mgmt assure efficiency and effectiveness of QMS processes.
I do not see negatives, but only positives.:bigwave:
 
#3
KGott:

It's all in the behaviours, not the questions! You need to involve management in the planning of audits. When people see management involved, it means it's important to them and will become important to their people. At the moment, I'd guess you do little to make your audit preparation and planning pertinent to the issues that management face or their people struggle with, until you openly embrace their input to your audits, your questions will achieve very little.
 
C

Chance

#4
IMHO, the questions are very good however it concentrates heavily on the Management Review aspect of the system. My :2cents: personally, internal auditing is to detect process specific issues, gaps, unstable processes or lower level of issues that could be addressed by process owners.
These questions posted by the OP are somewhat inclined to the overall effectiveness of the system which is the main objective of Management Review.
On top of the internal audit objectives and scope if these questions are thrown to the auditee it would be fantastic. I doubt if process owners would be able to demonstrate the whole thing to the internal auditor though.
 
K

kgott

#5
So AndyN, how might I involve management in planning audits beyond developing an audit plan which I send to management for review and approval before implementing it and then checking with the manager concerned a day or two before the audit that its still OK to do the audit and that the people concerned will be available.

Any suggestions appreaciated
 
#6
So AndyN, how might I involve management in planning audits beyond developing an audit plan which I send to management for review and approval before implementing it and then checking with the manager concerned a day or two before the audit that its still OK to do the audit and that the people concerned will be available.

Any suggestions appreaciated
With respect, getting them to sign off on something they don't know why (apart from ISO says so) you're doing, isn't 'involvement' it's 'lip service'!

How about not 'pushing' an audit schedule on them - it's not required, BTW - and getting them to tell you where the 'risks' are. Risks to their achievement of objectives, customer sat. etc. On top of that, why not meet with them, instead of 'checking in' (hardly involvement, is it?) and plan a particular audit with them. What you are doing is behaving like a CB auditor, not what an internal auditor should be doing...
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#7
I'm sure many on this form would agree that our internal audits are not supposed to be negative but we also know this view and the suspicion that goes with it is often hard to deny. While process oriented auditing is likely to see a change in this perception, is it possible that we can achieve better results if we were to try and reverse the way internal audits are done by focusing on and emphasising the positives by seeking answers to questions like these:

· What processes are working well?
· Why has noticeable improvement taken place?
· Who were the drivers behind these initiatives?
· How have these positive changes been encouraged and celebrated?
· How have these successes been used to drive further desired changes?
· How can these successes be used to accelerate this trend?


I would appreciate thoughts on the positives and negatives of this idea but also on the difficulties that may be encountered in an attempt to audit like this.
thanks
Although these are wonderful questions, and certainly could be part of an internal audit program, they would only address half of the basic internal audit requirement. See 8.2.2b "The organization shall conduct internal audits at planned intervals to determine whether the quality management system . . . b) is effectively implemented and maintained."

You still need to address 8.2.2a "The organization shall conduct internal audits at planned intervals to determine whether the quality management system . . . a) conforms to the planned arrangements, to the requirements of this International Standard and to the quality management system requirements established by the organization . . . "

I also believe, as does Chance, that these questions are well suited for management review.
 
K

kgott

#8
Well; thats the way I was taught and thats the way its done in organsations I have worked for but I am anxious to learn better ways of doing things. If anyone wants to teach me a better way I'd be keen to listen.
 
#9
Well; thats the way I was taught and thats the way its done in organsations I have worked for but I am anxious to learn better ways of doing things. If anyone wants to teach me a better way I'd be keen to listen.
Sadly, that's what many would say, because most auditor training uses external auditor techniques and not what is available to internal people. In some ways IA should be somewhat like a 'mini Six Sigma' project!
 
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