We’ve just developed and run our first Performance Auditing course designed specifically for businesses and people who want to get more out of their audits and auditing. This course is for those of you who want to go beyond the ‘tick and flick’ approach and writing the same report each time. It is for those who want to drive real change within their organisation.
Performance auditing is about finding genuine improvement opportunities, for challenging the normal, for identifying wasteful activities, and for driving out the boredom. To quote Einstein: “continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result” is a bit silly – so if you’re not happy with your auditing, you need to do something different.
So what is this new course all about? The content is divided into six key topics, which are briefly explained here…
- Audit with the customer – Rather than check that the process is being adhered to, check whether the customer of the process is getting what they want. Don’t ask
“Is the process being followed?”. Ask “Is the process delivering what it needs to?”.
- Use better checklists – We know checklists are handy to have when you’re doing an audit, but there are some traps when using them. Learn the nine things that can be wrong with checklists and the four things that you can do to make your checklists better.
- Dealing with difficult auditees – Some auditees can be difficult. You ask questions yet you don’t get a straight answer; or the person waffles on or misses the point (I’m sure you know what we mean). We have identified nine personality types that you are likely to come across when you’re auditing, and we have developed specific strategies to help you handle them – and get the answers that you need.
- Beyond compliance – Once your management system is compliant (meaning it says the right thing), we then check whether it is effective (meaning that the right things are done each and every time). But where do we go from there? What is left to do? The next is auditing for efficiency, which is about recognising the difference between the activities that add value, those that add no value but are necessary, and those that add no value at all.
- Remote auditing – To do an audit properly, you must visit the workplace, interview the people, and see the work being done. Correct? Well not always, because this is very time consuming and very costly. What are you able to confirm if you review the evidence from afar, by not going to the site, and possible by not even interacting with the auditee? How about logging in remotely, using a surveillance camera, or conducting an interview using video conferencing equipment?
- Vertical and horizontal auditing – Auditing is about following a trail, about connecting linkages and seeing where the evidence takes us. It’s about following a process from start to finish, or from finish back to the start. This is what is called ‘vertical auditing’. But there’s also ‘horizontal auditing’ where you take a process or part of a process and check how it is being applied in multiple locations, or by multiple teams, to see if it has been implemented consistently. Both vertical and horizontal auditing are useful, and you should be doing both.
Each of these six topics is about getting the most out of your audits and your auditing. Each is about identifying real opportunities for improvement, about challenging the normal, about getting the best value for the least cost.
Auditors are often perceived as being boring and dull, and audits are viewed as only being done out of necessity. Now if you want to change that perception, then perhaps you have to do what you do differently?
To register your interest for the Performance Auditing workshop, click on Register below: