He . . . Flung Himself upon His Horse and Rode Madly Off in All Directions: How to Optimize Strategic Planning through an Internal Audit Partnership

Article

Feaster, Linda   (1998, ASQ)   Quality, Easy As 1-2-3, Mattapoisett, MA

Quality Audit Conference, February 26-27, 1998, Louisville, KY    Vol. 7    No. 0
QICID: 10990    February 1998    pp. 106-116
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Article Abstract

A strategic planning process that incorporates internal audits increases the effectiveness of the audits and enhances continuous improvement. Strategic planning delivers a map for organizational growth that is monitored by periodic reviews.

Phase 1 of such an enhanced continuous improvement program is strategic planning itself.
This multiyear planning should be supported by top management who provide guidance, establish resource limits, review proposals, and evaluate progress. The strategic plan ought to be based on 12 months of external indicators, system metrics, and audit reports.
In phase 2, project management adds short term projects to the long term objectives produced in phase 1.
Short term project development tools include PERT and Gantt charts. Project management is concerned with: scheduling of resources and time; controlling the differences between planned and actual performance; and supporting projects with personnel and resources.
Phase 3 is the internal audit.
The lead auditor and project manager should identify measures of project progress and create schedules for auditing each critical stage of each project.
Phase 4 is the management review that covers internal audits, quality system metrics, and the cost of quality.
Then the cycle comes back to phase 1 and the strategic planning review. A three-year plan ideally results in completion of all long range projects.
These planning and auditing activities enable an organization to be proactive and systematic in its continuous improvement efforts.

Keywords

Strategic planning,Project management,Internal audit,Continuous improvement (CI),Audits


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