A Systems Approach to Auditing Systems

Article

Hirzel, Rudolph C.; Hirzel, Marie L.   (1999, ASQ)   IdeaWorks, Watervliet, MI

Quality Audit Conference, March 11-12, 1999, Houston, TX    Vol. 8    No. 0
QICID: 11146    March 1999    pp. 161-166
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Article Abstract

Systems thinking provides knowledge about patterns, relationships, interconnectedness, structures, and whole entities that are more than the sum of their parts. System audits focus on these relationships and patterns, and they use system auditing tools to analyze system interactions. These tools include tree diagrams, cause and effect diagrams, and matrix diagrams. Tree diagrams depict relationships within a system and help identify system effects when there are system performance problems. Cause and effect diagrams display an effect and its possible influences or causes. They are used to analyze a systemic output for its possible precursors. Matrix diagrams show which people or documents are linked to which functions. Systems thinking facilitates activities like problem solving and root cause analysis, while demonstrating the connection between audit results and business performance.

Keywords

Audits,Cause and effect diagram,Statistical methods,Tree diagrams


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