Benefiting from AuditsMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
Maintaining high level quality is as important as getting to that level. Regular audits ensure the effectiveness of implemented processes to achieve the desired level of quality. Organizations widely acknowledge this fact and it has become an industry norm to attain certain Quality and Process related organizational level certifications. These certifications are mandatory baseline requirements for most of the projects.
As mentioned earlier, getting certified or implementing some processes or standards is one thing and being able to maintain that, over time, is another. Generally audits are seen as a daunting task but it should be seen as something that supports you in maintaining a certain quality level. The audits help in identifying if the required levels are intact or not. Secondly, the audits help in determining gaps that require focus or working towards their mitigation can work towards the required improvement.
Organizations with focus on exclusively invest a lot in their Compliance department and its working is integrated with the working of all other departments. The internal audits are frequently conducted to prepare for external audit and with focus to highlight any short-coming before going through the external audit.
Unfortunately, the importance of the Compliance department and internal audits is not finally realized by most of the employees. I often get this feedback that the Compliance department doesn’t perform any construction activity, rather they act as a delaying factor by wasting a lot of time.
The fact is that the Compliance department, just like PMO, provides support to all other departments of the organization and acts as its backbone. This department helps in raising and then maintaining Quality levels to attain or upgrade certifications. They continuously do research and understand the emerging Quality concepts and evaluate the existing processes and practices against them.
We often have this instant reaction of pointing out something wrong or a mistake but if we are asked to make it better, we often are short of answers. The whole point of this discussion is to highlight the importance of the Compliance department and audits. Also we need to make an effort to understand and make junior level resources understand this importance. Audits need to be taken with a positive frame of mind to maximize use of them.