Upper Management wants a Time Limit on Internal Audits - Slice Audits?

G

GAYLE SPENCER

#1
CAN ANYONE TELL ME IF THEY PUT A TIME LIMIT ON THEIR INTERNAL AUDITS. OUR UPPER MANAGEMENT WANTS ME TO TELL MY AUDITORS TO CUT DOWN ON THE TIME IT TAKES TO DO AN AUDIT. I`M TRAINING THE AUDITORS TO DO SLICE AUDITS INSTEAD OF THE INDIVIDUAL SECTION AUDITS. THEY THINK IT TAKES TO LONG TO COMPLETE OUR AUDITS. DOES EVERYONE LIMIT THEIR AUDITORS IN THIS MANNER?
 
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G

GAYLE SPENCER

#3
HELLO DAWN,
A SLICE AUDIT IS WHEN YOU TAKE ONE PART FROM
YOUR PRODUCTION AREA AND TRACE IT FROM THE TIME YOU RECEIVED THE QUOTE UNTIL YOU SHIP IT OUT TO THE CUSTOMER. THIS WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO THROUGH ALL THE SECTIONS OF THE QS MANUAL( FROM 4.1 TO 4.20). YOU CAN FIND OUT IF ONE OR SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE MANUAL HAVE BEEN SKIPPED. YOU DONT REALLY HAVE ANY GUIDE LINE TO GO BY,YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW THE QSA QUESTIONS. AND YOU DONT HAVE TO ASK THE SAME QUESTIONS ALL THE TIME.
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#4
Gayle,

Your senior level managers are more interested in other things other than true improvement. The slice audit you describe is more indicative of a process or product audit, not a systems audit. Looking at a single event is not indicative of all events or circumstances. I would be suspect of the results.

How long will it take to improve quality and profitability? Longer than they have time for. I have run into similar issues and my response to them is this. O.K. then, what is too much and what is too little? The usual response: stupified looks.

The issue here is that they see IA as an ISO requirement, not an improvement tool. They need to see it as an improvement tool.

Regards,

Kevin
 
D

Don Watt

#5
IMHO, "slice" audits are a perfectly valid way of conducting internal audits, providing they are backed up with system audits by the MR.
This relates pretty closely to the thread on Internal Audit Focus.

As far as cutting down on auditing time, this suggests that the management team do not see the value of internal audits as an improvement tool. I will not commit to the time taken to perform an IA - it takes as long as is needed. "How long is a piece of string?"
 
J

Jim Biz

#6
Hi Folks: Interesting a "Limit" on audit time....?

I've attempted to ask a similar question in another thread ... my management has asked that I plan for "How long it SHOULD take" (without actually setting a "limit") - next to impossible from a program standpoint in my view...

But external auditors have a guideline for time spent onsite... therefore my management feels we should have an internal guideline for how long we "should" spend on internals(if it takes longer than I've planned so be it...) But setting a "time LIMIT" tells me someone dosen't understand the process..

The "slice audit" approach although valid tends to make me believe that an external auditor could easily find standards requirement areas that were not questioned.
We have been blessed with a couple of minors from that viewpoint (IE 4.11.2 internal questioning did not directly adress section i)

In an attempt to "Balance" time spent I have planned and average 3 hours per procedure and/or work instruction document.

1 hr prep time
1 hr actual questioning
1 hr report makeup

Some take longer - some only take 15 minutes.
WHO actually makes up the audit questions and the final reports can make a big difference in effective time spent...

Regards
Jim



[This message has been edited by Jim Biz (edited 26 May 2000).]
 
C

Chris W

#7
My company is relatively small in size. We have divided our facility in to nine audit areas. We currently have nine internal auditors from various departments.

Audit packets created specific to each audit area are handed out at the beginning of the month that the audit is due. This allows the auditors to perform the audit when time allows. Four of the nine auditors work a 12 hour swing shift that rotates on a 28 day cycle. It is difficult for them to perform an audit unless they are working days which is every other week. Audit results are then presented to Management at our monthly meeting on the second Wednesday of the month.

This seems to work for us pretty well. I would not want to specify a certain amount of time for each audit. Each auditor is different and therefore has their own style. Also, some audit areas are larger than other areas and thus require more time to be spent auditing them.
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
I typically preach one hour hunks at a time. you may not get it all done, so reschedule and go back, but 1 hour is plenty of interruption to the process at a time...for both the auditor and the auditee. As experience is gained, the hour becomes more productive...the hour is interview time.....prep and report depend on the complexity of the audit program, again my rule is keep it simple. With history behind you ...you can adjust the scope of the audit to fit the time allotted....as well as the # of audits to evaluate the system

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 27 May 2000).]
 
G

George Baker

#9
Interesting discussion topic. I have auditing responsibility for four QS-9000 registered plants in a 25-mile radius. We use a team of auditors from plants A,B, and C to audit plant D, and so on so that they never audit themselves. At each plant, they get two complete system audits each year, roughly two months prior to the next scheduled surveillance audit. In between the complete audits, each plant has two "element" audits covering those elements where there have been problems in the past. We have a total of about 50 qualified internal auditors, which might seem like a lot until you consider 4 audits per year times 4 plants, times 3 shifts. We typically spend two days doing a system audit and one day doing an "element" audit. We are just now beginning to get into some process auditing (taking a control plan and walking a product completely through a process.) I invite your comments.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#10
Do a cycle of process audits and review your findings. That should show whether they are going to be of value or not. I personally see more value in them than in systems audits.
 
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