3Q’s to Add Value
G U E S T A R T I C L E
Blast from the Past
3Q’s to Add Value
Capital Quality News 1999 Issue 2
By Cheryl Moore
Think of Auditing and you may imagine a group of people poking their noses into trivial matters, writing numbers that workers don’t see and that managers don’t understand. At the September section meeting, Larry Skinner of Applied Quality presented a slide show on Quality Practices that demonstrated that is NOT the way Quality Auditing is done, as well as giving an excellent overview of the effective way to perform a Value Added Audit. What’s a value added audit? Essentially it’s one that contributes to the improvement of the bottom line economic performance of the auditee. Larry’s proven Value Added Audit System contains nine quality practices. Larry’s presentation dealt with each of these in detail, but in a nutshell this is what they are;
First Question Why Audit? Where the response shows that an audit program directly affects the bottom line by improving performance, identifies opportunities ,reduces risk,etc. If the audit is not doing that then it’s not worth doing. Next create a Quality Audit Circle where you plan,do evaluate and improve. This is a variation on the customary Plan Do Study Act cycle familiar to all quality practitioners.
Make a Quality Sale where yu show that if you audit all the right things but don’t change others ideas or processes,what purpose was it? Each audit should sell at least one quality idea. Identify Quality Values by presenting findings in terms of management’s two favourite words: time and money.
Display consistency, top management commitment,corrective/preventative action. Determine how to sell quality. Do you wait until the client perceives a problem? Or act on it in advance to sell the idea of quality to avoid problems. Create an Audit Policy getting everyone to cooperate, company wide. This must involve as wide a cross section as possible,including the most senior levels of management. Follow the seven step Audit Process remembering that it must be forward communicated through all appropriate levels. Larry stressed that all audits are worthless unless an effective CPAR (corrective and preventative action) process is in place.
Finally, the three Q’s (questions): Is there a quality system? Is it followed?Is it effective? It’s only a value added audit when the answer to all 3 Q’s is Yes.
Value Added Audit Systems are essential in the continuous improvement process for every organization to aid the organization to identify and act upon opportunities, to promote quality throughout the whole organization, to get the right people to find the best solutions, and to provide an opportunity for communication. “Communication is difficult at the best of times…good auditing skills are invaluable” to a continuous quality system.
For more information on the Value added audit see Larry’s own article later in this issue.
The post has been contributed by Candice Carter. You can contact her using our contact form.