What does the word Audit bring into our minds? Do we go “ Hey guys let us have a party, we are going to have an audit this month!!”. At least I have not come across workplaces that go into a jubilant mood on hearing about an Audit -Maybe it should have got its due respect with an emoticon added “getting audited” (I am still not able to decide on the right emoticon expression ).
Typically the word Audit brings in a set of mixed feelings in our minds. The general thought of it can be tiring; thinking about the tirade of documentation and due diligence needed. Nevertheless, it has been the backbone of all processes as well as product management all over the world – thus a necessity. Any process or product improvement will get stumped without it. Thus one may want to think of it as a necessary evil!
The Way Out
To win a war, one needs to always be in a war. The best way to prepare for war would constantly be in war mode, thus there is no question one being not prepared. Thus to successfully face an audit, it would be best to constantly be in an audit mode. This seems slightly counterintuitive and ridiculous but is not far away from the practical and recommended practice. Typically therefore we have periodic self-audits that may be quarterly/half-yearly or however.
The big question is how can we enable this – how can we make it easier.
The question, therefore, is “where lies the pain?” The pain lies in identifying these non-compliances and if seen – reporting them easily. If the audit could be an In process audit or audit is part of the process, then this would have been taken care of by itself and all one needed to look at these outputs/outcomes. Unfortunately, life is not so simple, and simple solutions are sometimes not so simple to implement.
And the Way Between
The solution is sure can be lying in the obvious corner, called Technology. How much easier it would have been to have these points monitored on a real-time basis and on a moving basis. This is now a possibility with the advent of new technologies of IoT and Artificial Intelligence.
The other question is “Are there any simpler solutions?”- there can be and there are.
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Read more on How can audit and compliance be achieved using IoT? to understand how Industrial Audits and Compliance checks are going to undergo sea change in future.