The Perfect Audit System


Kildahl, David D.   (1998, ASQ)   Quality Management Services, Bloomington, MN

Annual Quality Congress, Philadelphia, PA    Vol. 52    No. 0
QICID: 10671    May 1998    pp. 111-118
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Article Abstract

A well designed audit system requires an understanding of its target. If perfectly designed and executed, the system supports management decision making, identifies areas for improvement, and benefits all stakeholders. If an audit system is inadequate, its designers should learn the lessons found in The Quality Audit Handbook, and then work through the following six steps. First, decide what the audit system should do. Be proactive in obtaining management support. If management insists on a scoring system, link the scores to continuous improvement. Second, identify each stakeholder's responsibilities and roles. If the auditor must make recommendations, these should be given in a separate report. Use education and other tools to help stakeholders avoid delay and focus on important issues. Third, plan to write an audit report that will involve the stakeholders and help them learn what they need to know. Be sure auditors have adequate training, including knowledge of system behavior. Fourth, customize the audit to the auditee's system. By being systems oriented, the auditor will look for systems that fail because they do less or more or something other than what they were designed to do. Fifth, implement this newly designed audit. Consider running the first implementation as a real but demonstration initiative so that other units can observe the new system. Planning and scheduling are vital elements of this implementation. Sixth, perform a plan-do-check-act analysis on the new audit system.


Audits,Stakeholders,Reports,Quality audit

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