A process audit requires an organization to make sure that the resources and activities being invested in a particular process are actually contributing to the outcome as expected. This form of audit requires a deep look at the strategy implemented matches the output necessary and will take time to shape, define and organize.
To make sure that your processes are contributing to your expected outputs, time in defining your organizational goals is key. Goals may change, especially as they come under the microscope of the process audit.
To start, make sure that each goal has a corresponding measure that can be tracked. If the measure can’t be defined, the goal needs more attention. It may need a timeline, it may need more focus, or it may need to be scrapped.
If your goal is to improve efficiencies in producing a product, you will need to fully understand and define the processes that generate the product. This data can come from any member of your team and may include factors such as
- the physical layout of the working space
- the efficiency of the machinery involved in the work
- the skillset of everyone working on the machinery
This simple assessment is just one portion of the process audit. Determining the scope of a process audit will require everyone in your organization to be fully comfortable with the auditor. The query process should not be presented as a series of challenges but as a learning process. A skilled process auditor with knowledge of VDA 6.3 2016 auditor requirements can put your employees at ease.
During the monitoring process, it’s a great time to pull out your training manuals. As employees learn the ins and outs of a particular machine or series of steps, they will make improvements. If you notice that any employees are generating better results with their small process upgrades, it’s time to make adjustments to your “how-to” manual.
Every new employee will bring new skills to an application or a process. In addition to putting these new skills to work on behalf of your organization, do what you can to incorporate this employee into the training process. If they’re not a great teacher, bring in HR to provide them with the training necessary. Investments in people can be some of the most effective lessons from your process audit.
As you review both your work processes and your auditing processes, you can start to track improvements. The process of review can be unsettling for some members of your team. The review process is another time to point out the reason for your process audit in the first place.
If you are planning an expansion, developing a new product line or adding another shift to your manufacturing facility, the process review step is critical to being as ready as possible for this big change. Share as much information as possible to increase buy-in with existing employees. Poor communication at any point in this process can increase workplace anxiety and cost your organization focus.
There is data that will come out of your process audit that you can act on immediately. There will also be data that can’t be utilized for a period of time, and there may be data that you will never act on. However, the process audit needs to have both a launch date and a completion celebration date.
Competencies and capabilities are part of what will be measured during your process audit. Your employees offer skills that are crucial to your success, and many of them may find the whole idea of a process audit unsettling. To increase comfort and promote confidence in the process, make sure that your employees see the results of the process audit. This may be an improvement in their working space, increased automation, or a bump in their paycheck.
The investment in a process audit is a business benefit that will take time to show up. Getting your audit performed by a qualified company means that you can get data, output, and results that will help direct expansion and growth. Current owners, employees, and investors can enjoy increased security and the chance for continued growth.