title:Are You ISO Auditor-Phobic? author:Chris Anderson source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_1880.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:06 category:business_and_finance article:

Which is more painful: an audit or spending the holidays with Aunt Sally and her green Jell-O mold? Either way, your company audit still looms in your mind, but it shouldn?t be that scary ? quite the opposite. Besides, even Sally ?audits? herself when she makes her mold, as she tests for thickness and taste. She just wants to improve.
Fix the Problem
So what are you going to do about your company audit? How about make an educated guess what the problem is, assign someone to ?fix? it, and sit back and relax?for another month or so? This is just another short-term solution.
Tackle the Audit Head On
Instead, why not tackle the audit head on, and kick its butt. A strange way to put it, maybe, but that?s how I see an audit after attending an Internal Auditor Skills Class. Don?t get me wrong, I still like managing by my own glorious opinion. But it got me thinking that maybe the attitude of ?just the facts, ma?am? holds more water (and less hot air).
Close System Gaps
With role playing and actually writing up my own audit plans and reports, I got to see why unarguable evidence is so crucial to improving and even closing the gaps in a company?s system. It becomes such a different world when you see firsthand all of the scenes.
Of course, Les Cornelius, Quality Assurance Coordinator for Lee BioSolutions, Inc., put it better than I could. ?Role playing and specific examples were helpful elements because they fully exercise the brain in its learning capacity and help internalize and retain the teachings?
Manage with Unarguable Evidence
But I asked myself, why these teachings? Why do you need unarguable evidence, and why isn?t our best guess good enough? It?s because I saw that without unarguable evidence, we will manage by the seat of our pants and just argue back and forth our subjective opinions instead of discovering what is factually true. We will never accomplish anything with certainty, and we could do the wrong thing that could set you back even further.
Measure Performance Improvement
But as with anything, the proof is in the pudding, so what are the results? In the class, I saw numerous examples proving that managing by objective evidence leads to better and higher performance. And this leads to measurable improvement of the whole system. Simple yet complex. Complex yet simple.
Conduct Your Own Audit
In a nutshell, if you?re only going to take one in the next few months to help improve your job and company, I?d highly recommend an Internal Auditor Skills Class. You will come away with the knowledge to conduct an internal audit and improve your company?s system. And, maybe more importantly, you can face your fears ? and hopefully avoid Aunt Sally?s mold.

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