Free Process Auditing Tools

Posted on 4 Mar 2009 by The Manufacturer

Rob Thompson points to a free process audit checklist and provides an explanation of the strategy...

When you’re out of quality, you’re out of business.

~ Unknown Author

Here’s a great process audit checklist, provided totally free of charge!

But just what are process audits?

Over to Shaun at the Capable Blog for an explanation:

Process audits versus procedural audits

“This contrast is primarily one of scope rather than focus.

A procedural audit will generally be quite narrow in scope and will look in detail at the execution of a particular operation. A process audit has a broad scope and examines the broader context of the operation from inputs through to outputs and results.

A process audit generally involves drawing evidence from a broader range of sources and people and requires more forethought and planning. A well written procedure more or less tells the auditor what sort of questions should be asked during the audit step by step, however when an auditor considers a process audit, there may be no single document that leads the auditor through the process in that step-by-step way. That means the auditor must establish the methodology through effective planning.

Despite being generally a “bigger job” and more complex and time consuming, process audits generate information on the general efficiency and appropriateness of working methods. They can identify duplication, bottle-necks, delays, weaknesses in communication and confusion that procedural audits cannot pick up. A useful approach in auditing a process is to adopt the “grave to cradle” approach. That means to start the audit by looking at the results, then to use the findings from that stage to focus the audit trails for other parts of the process, tracking back to process inputs.

The diagram on the next page shows a typical “turtle diagram” approach to process auditing. Taking a central theme for the audit (in this case management responsibility &objective setting) the diagram offers a template to help the auditor explore generic themes associated with process control

This approach can be adopted for any process, as there will always be generic themes of objectives, measures, equipment, training, responsibilities, communications, methods and so on.”

By Rob Thompson of Learn Sigma blog.