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  Improve Auditor's effectiveness?

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Author Topic:   Improve Auditor's effectiveness?
Brenda Mundroff
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posted 05 May 1999 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brenda Mundroff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is it possible to improve an individual auditor's effectiveness? I have about 10 internal auditors and about 1/3 of them just don't get it! I have to question everything they put in their summary.
I know that it will come with time and individual attention. I'd like to speed up the process if I can. Any suggestions for areas to focus on? I also have about 10 more auditors coming out of 'training' this month.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Kevin Mader
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posted 05 May 1999 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brenda,

Have you identified the obstacles for this 1/3? Do you know why the other 2/3 do not experience the same problems? Who is providing the training (yourself or an outside firm)?

Sorry to hit you with three questions up front, but I would like to develop a better picture of your situation. I may be able to provide better potential solutions for you.

Regards,

Kevin

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Brenda Mundroff
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posted 05 May 1999 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brenda Mundroff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The initial training for the internal auditors comes from an external firm. They are given the basics of ISO 9000 and a few tips on how to audit.

The 1/3 are folks with only a few years with the company and, consequently, don't have a good "systems-view" on day-to-day tasks. They also are not auditing to the documentation. Just asking what they do.

At this point, though, we are all pretty green at auditing. We have only been doing internal audits since 7/98. I'm just looking for a way to jump start the program into looking at how effective the processes are.
Some auditors are already doing this. Can't seem to budge this other group.

Any help is appreciated.

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Kevin Mader
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From:Seymour, CT USA
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posted 05 May 1999 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brenda,

Just getting to a quick lunch now (2:17) and the afternoon is packed. I will be back to post, likely tomorrow.

Thanks for the additional info.

Regards,

Kevin

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barb butrym
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posted 05 May 1999 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buddy the 1/3 up with the 2/3 that get it..sort of apprenticeship. For a starter.

Don't understand why your training is ISO basics and just a few auditing tips.....seems a bit lopsided to me. AND... YA can't just go in asking questions. The plan is what will keep them ontrack and get the value added results. I question the effectivity of te training. Some people never get it, and thats ok... auditing is a personal technique....sort of an art or a talent.

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Kevin Mader
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posted 06 May 1999 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barb,

Good analogy, auditing being an art. Now how to make it a 'science' and effective to boot!

Brenda,

Good advice from Barb's corner. I always set up the auditors needing improvement with those who have a good understanding of auditing and do a good job at it, and for the most part, I have seen improvement. We had a discussion a few months ago within the forum on Auditing for effectiveness which I can associate with auditor effectiveness. Internal Auditing programs are difficult tasks for most folks, especially in their infancy. Many are "volunteered" and have a bad taste of it right of the bat. So how can you improve effectiveness (Areas to focus on)? With the questions I asked in my first post, you must determine all the obstacles and remove them; the good points, exploit them a bit too. To Barb's point; you will not be able to remove them all, so concentrate on the vital few (80/20 rule). What I do, I test my internal auditors on their knowledge of auditing, some questions on the ISO standard, to identify the weak areas. These I target as part of their on-going training. I have also noticed as folks begin to better understand the process, the auditing task is viewed less like a sentence. Improvement on understanding, length of auditing time, and reporting of audit results. Better all around.

I also question the effectiveness of your external training source. They should know about some of the traditional obstacles and work to remove them (i.e. How many folks here were VOLUNTEERED? and work to improve their attitude/perspective). You may want to see Barb on this point.

This is a longer term project. Speeding up the process can be accomplished with understanding the pros and cons with your auditors and audit program. So determine your specific "focus areas", address them, and continually improve the process.

Regards,

Kevin

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Brenda Mundroff
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posted 06 May 1999 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brenda Mundroff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kevin and Barb,

Thanks for the advice. Identifying the obstacles is a greate place to start. I really like the idea of ongoing auditor training. I think that will improve communications between myself and the audit crew.

Pairing the 1/3 with the 2/3 normally would work, except the 1/3 work shifts and generally team with somebody else on their shift.

And believe it or not, these folks volunteered on there own. It definitely helps the level of enthusiasm.

Thanks again!

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barb butrym
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posted 06 May 1999 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They can do an audit at the shift change/overlap......or have a professional come in and work with them. If they volunteered you need to 'fix' it fast or lose the support and get bad PR as well.

Have heard and see alot of good trainers here at the cove...where are you located? maybe someone is near enough for it to be cost effective ....to have them come in and train your team properly. If you are a large operation, then it will be cost effective and better than that...a necessity.

Sometimes a different trainer can get the point across, people respond to different teacher personalities....what works for one, may not for another.

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barb butrym
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posted 06 May 1999 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
talk about communication.....I do an exercise in my internal auditor training, as a matter of fact marc posted it here a while back...called "the albatross" or one called 'veginots'. Both make you look at evidence, promote communication and the veginots even uses interview/feed back skills..and they are fun. Another exercise is the old/young woman slide...where depending on how you are led, everyone looks at the same drawing and sees either a young or an old woman. Makes you think how you "look" at things. By them selves they seem lame, but in a classroom setting with the proper presentation all are very effective. It takes the trainees away from the subject which is foreign to them, and gives them some of the same information in a fun and familiar format. Works for me....the success rate is great.

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Kevin Mader
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posted 07 May 1999 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barb,

I agree with making the topic less foreign by introducing fun exercises within the structure of your training program. Auditing in general can be a very dry topic. Very easy to loose/never gain interest. Keeping the interest of the group can improve results dramatically. I like to do the "good cop, bad cop" approach. Without going into detail, auditing candidates interview with practicing internal auditors, one being difficult, the other seemingly open. The practicing auditors try to steer the interview their way, to see how candidates effectively respond. Other candidates observe the interactions. Then we discuss the observations as a group. Fairly effective and it livens up a dull topic.

Regards,

Kevin

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Don Winton
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posted 07 May 1999 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Don't understand why your training is ISO basics and just a few auditing tips.....seems a bit lopsided to me.

Yea, gotta go with barb and Kevin on that one, but perhaps I would state more likely vise-versa. If you have not already, you may want to look at B. Scott Parsowithâs Fundamentals of Quality Auditing as a desk reference. I like it as a quick refresher guide. I have also developed a refresher course in auditing in PowerPoint that I give. It assumes that the attendees already have some auditing training. I can send to you if you like or I can send it to Marc to post here if he is agreeable. I have removed my speaker notes so it can customized it to an organizationâs particulars.

quote:
talk about communication.....I do an exercise in my internal auditor training·

I do the same thing. In the course I designed for this firm, the course is a hybrid of my Lead Assessor training and systems management principles. I wanted my internal assessors to not just understand ISO, but WHY we wanted it and WHAT systems management was about. I have a one-half day module on just communication that includes the albatross lesson and the four primary behavioral styles, among others. I am expanding the latter currently and will post it soon. There is a brief discussion of the four behavioral styles that can be found at

https://elsmar.com/ubb/Forum42/HTML/000001.html

quote:
It takes the trainees away from the subject which is foreign to them, and gives them some of the same information in a fun and familiar format.

I do this a lot also. I have found that training by Îlectureâ sucks (pardon my language). I present several items of various formats for the students to Îlearnâ as if they were not taught. A particular one that is fun is the Îmatchâ test. The students have to tell me how to light a match, under the assumption that my brain is a blank CPU waiting to be programmed. I have a lot of fun with that one. Kevin, I do the good-cop, bad-cop also, but mostly in my systems management training. But from your description, it seems to work well in auditing also. May have to look at my stuff again :>)

quote:
I really like the idea of ongoing auditor training.

Yea, that is pretty much a must.

quote:
...or have a professional come in and work with them.

You may find that this may be an attractive option. Sometimes you need someone from the Îoutside looking inâ rather than from the Îinside looking out.â

Regards,
Don

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Brenda Mundroff
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posted 10 May 1999 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brenda Mundroff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barb, Kevin, and Don,

Thanks for your insights. It seems that I need to prepare a "tips and techniques" refresher course for my auditors, both current and new. You have given me many ideas for approaching this now.

Barb, the albatross is interesting. I will include it in the refresher.

Don, could you email me your Powerpoint? It's always easier to start with something already prepared and modify it, rahter than start from scratch.

A new internal auditor training class starts here tomorrow. It has been redesigned, so I'll be attending occasionally to get a feel for the new design. If I don't see any improvement in the "auditor thinking" training, then I will contact the vendor.

Again, thanks for the help!

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Don Winton
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posted 10 May 1999 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Don, could you email me your Powerpoint?

Well, I could except that your e-mail address is not in your profile.

BTW, an expansion on the four behavioral styles can be found at: *** Dead Link Removed ***

Regards,
Don

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[This message has been edited by Don Winton (edited 07 December 1999).]

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Brenda Mundroff
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posted 10 May 1999 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brenda Mundroff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've updated my profile.

Thanks!

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Brenda Mundroff
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posted 10 May 1999 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brenda Mundroff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've updated my profile.

Thanks!

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Don Winton
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posted 10 May 1999 11:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For anyone else interested, the PowerPoint document mentioned can be found at:
*** Dead Link Removed ***

Regards,
Don

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[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 07 December 1999).]

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barb butrym
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posted 11 May 1999 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don, we must have alot of the same tools and references....I had to smile as I went through your presentation.... but I guess thats the way it is, we who think alike present alike...I even use the "listen twice as much as you speak" thing. I have a slide with 2 giant ears and one small mouth in the middle I use for that...and say we have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason.... I especially liked the SPC and quality cost parts, as i don't typically elaborate alot on those....

nicely done

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Don Winton
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posted 11 May 1999 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
I especially liked the SPC and quality cost parts, as i don't typically elaborate alot on those....

The presentation was designed with flexibility in mind. I feel those are important concepts, but they can also be excluded without taking away from the intent of the document. As I stated above, it is meant as a refresher, but with some modifications, it could be used as a training course. I have had, over the past few years, several versions, each optimized to the particular audience. The one I posted was a hybrid of those, excluding my speaker notes. I feel my notes would not contribute since I have no idea the audience in which the training is to be given. Also, I have never been a fan of 'canned' and 'one size fits all' training.

quote:
we must have alot of the same tools and references....

I am sure we do. Most of this stuff have been around in one form or another for years.

quote:
nicely done

Thanks.

Regards,
Don

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Jackie Jolly
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posted 07 December 1999 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jackie Jolly   Click Here to Email Jackie Jolly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was interested in the Power Point Document listed above but was unable to locate it. How could I go about this?

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Marc Smith
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posted 07 December 1999 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don:

The link is broken to *** Dead Link Removed ***.

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Don Winton
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posted 07 December 1999 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry about that. Updates and all. *** Dead Link Removed ***

Now it is in pdf format. Too many people could not read a Powerpoint 4.0 Mac file in their Windows environment.

Regards,
Don

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