Conducting an audit is perhaps the most effective way to gain insight into the inner workings of your business. An audit will help you identify strong points and areas of weakness within your business, making it much easier to form a strategy for improvement and increased productivity. There are several different categories of audits you may wish to conduct. A process audit is designed to focus on a set of processes used in your business. It examines each process and adherence to individual specifications and procedures. Staying organized and having an audit checklist will maximize the results of any audit.
Step 1Determine what the final product or overall value of your business is to your existing and potential clientele. This may seem like a rather easy question to answer, but consider it carefully. Identifying and understanding the company’s ultimate goal is crucial in setting its policies and processes.
Step 2Examine all elements of the final product or service. This includes the quality of your work. By identifying critical variables, you will be able to see which steps of the process are more crucial than others and which steps may be streamlined or even eliminated.
Step 3Test and determine how well the process adapts to variations. Nothing in life is perfect, and there will always be unknown factors out there waiting to throw you off track. A process that can adapt to and accommodate these unforeseen variations is more likely to be successful than one with more rigid guidelines that do not allow for change.
Step 4Survey the people involved in the process. Observe individuals and how their roles affect the process. Speak with employees or administer anonymous questionnaires for a first-hand perspective on how the process works.