Quality Audits Start Small - Continually Improve


Farrow, John H.   (1989, ASQC)   Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3659    May 1989    pp. 793-796
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Article Abstract

After management has been convinced that an audit program is necessary - what comes next? This paper will give some answers to this vital question and how to begin an audit program.

Programs are generally thought of in terms of whether they are concerned with internal or vendor operations and whether the need is generated internally or if they are required by an external power-customer or government. Although the various categories are quite different, the optimum start can be quite similar. This will be covered.

Four of the major audit types are:

  • sytems and procedures,
  • end product,
  • product in line,
  • and process audits.
There are other types of audits; however, these four give enough variety for a fledgling program.
  • The key is to start small. Trying to be all things to all people will breed failure.
  • A second key is to start with a fairly simple audit. Generally an end product audit will be most suitable. Factors in deciding will be contained in the paper.
  • The third key is timeliness. The audit program cannot drag or the opportunity will be missed. On the other hand, it is necessary to insure that auditors are trained and prepared. Premature starts with unqualified people will destroy the veracity required for success.
  • The fourth key is to be organized. Being organized is different from having a massive organization. It means knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Tips in this area will be part of the paper.
Once the program has been started, there must be a follow-up and a planned expansion to the final desired level of coverage. Start small, maintain follow-up and growth - this approach will give your company an excellent tool to help meet the challenge of continuous improvement.


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