Smooth Approach

Abstract:´╗┐Traditional audits are considered by many to be a disruptive but necessary, evil. For organizations with mature systems, however, an approach called an appreciative internal quality audit can take them beyond compliance to excellence. The appreciative internal audit combines the practices of traditional internal quality audits with those of appreciative inquiry. It creates a value-added experience that helps reveal and enhance what is correct or discards what is not. Appreciative audits meet all the requirements of international and industry standards and are an alternative to organizations that would like to continue what they do best and encourage improvement where they want to do better. Sidebar articles explain internal audits, the evolution of audit questions, and the assumptions of appreciative …

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This article is a good bridge explanation of how to use behavior interviewing techniques for potential job candidates and applying this approach to internal audits in the evolution of the audit questions. The interesting thing I was taught auditing many years ago to look for best practices and system effectiveness. I have been audited by the FDA and two CBs. They always provide in the closing meeting a comment of the effectiveness of the program and any outstanding approaches. This was evident form the FDA when I had two back to back audits with No Action Indicated (NAI).
In my presentation in training Internal Auditors, I discuss this sort of thing. Properly defined and implemented, Internal Audits do this type of Verification (conforming to the standard). If this is all that the Internal Audit/Auditor are doing you are missing opportunities. The process can:
1. Reinforce processes and programs that aid in the Company's business
2. Mentor sites on preferred methods and practices
3. Help change documented processes to reflect closer to the actual workflow which aids in the efficiency of the overall company.
4. Aid in measuring and monitoring Risk.

I do appreciate the reinforcement of reporting best practices in the management review as the correct thing to do. It also helps to have these behaviors emulated by peers to the original pointed out process.

One thing did concern me is the reference to ISO 19011:2004. When I checked ISO and ANSI web store, they still have ISO 19011:2002 listed. Looking into this further, I discovered a reference to a TS EN ISO 19011:2004. Could you please clarify the reference that you were using in regards to ISO 19011:2002?

Again, thank you for an article that reinforces this behavior for us who have been taking this approach in our current management systems.
--Craig Harshman, 10-10-2008


I found this to be an outstanding article, with a lot of thought-provoking material. I was somewhat concerned that the amount of time and effort involved in the approach might be beyond what could be achieved in most companies, but the some of the information in the article suggested that perhaps it is truly achievable. I wonder if there is a good way to really measure the level of success with the approach. It is very encouraging to learn that senior management became more involved as the efforts unfolded. The only concern I have is that I would like to see levels of success with the approach at more than one company. Most of the information seemed to be from a specific company and it is possible that the success was from factors specific to that company.
--Bill White, 10-09-2008


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