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27 August 2015

A game of two halves - the consequences of failing to prepare for audits

By Zoe Hislop

When I look at my fantasy football team’s weekend performance on a Monday morning, I can’t help but be disappointed with my position in our office league table. My lack of preparation in comparison with others – whether this is as a result of my complete ignorance of the English Premiership, or my lack of dedication to make my transfers based upon educated decisions as opposed to hair brained whims – disappoints me.

I felt I had prepared well for my 38 match battle with colleagues; I had chosen my team based upon names I vaguely recognised from social media, news coverage,  tabloids, or my bleeding ear after being succumbed to ‘Match of the Day’ just once too often!

In relevance to our work here at Ideagen, we often come across tales of businesses who fail to prepare well enough ahead of critical audits. This resonated with my experiences in preparing my fantasy football team.

Although I felt I had prepared well based on the knowledge I had, I can’t help but think of businesses who feel they have prepared well for their audits with the systems/processes they have in place; such as Excel, Word, Google docs to name but a few. However, these business are then disappointed with the audit report comprising of unexpected non-conformances.

I prepared with the resources I have, yet I’m not at (or even close to!) the top of the league table. If I had better knowledge, just as if an organisation were to have a better resourced quality and/or safety management system for preparing them for their audits, this uncertainty with regard to the outcome would be eradicated. I would be at the top of the league table, and auditees would have little un-forecasted non-conformances. Success!

For me, however, this has yet to be achieved. My non-conformances (players who have lost me my ever so precious – and very much needed – points) surprise me; I was certain they would be my star player of the week and they have done nothing but let me down! These non-conformances will always arise during audits; regardless of how well prepared you are. However, if I had better calculated my risks, such as taking the time to consider who the opposition are, whether my player is playing home or away for the next match or whether they are out injured, then I would have been better prepared and my non-conformances could be minimised to a level of non-existence! Organisations may think the processes and practices they have in place are effective, however, the lack of coherency they exhibit prepares them just as well for an audit as my lack of knowledge prepares my ‘fantasy team’ for the weekend ahead.

Following from my weekly audit, I attempt to make changes to my team for the better; similarly to an organisation conducting their corrective actions resulting from their audit. Improvements are made in order to reduce the persistence of non-conformances, or to increase efficiency and likelihood of operational excellence; all I want is my strikers to score, and my keeper to do his job; is that so hard to ask?! Ultimately, the answer is yes!!

If I had the time and resource to build my knowledge, and successfully coach the correct team through the season, I wouldn’t have the uncertainty I presently endure. Similarly, if an organisation takes the time to apply the correct resource to manage quality and/or safety within the organisation, their uncertainty too would be a thing of the past.

Unlike organisations; I can choose to either ignore my weekly audit or no longer be part of the ‘Fantasy Football’ façade. For functioning organisations; ignorance of auditing is not an option, therefore, the only viable option is to have the best resources in order to minimise the uncertainties; a consolidated SMS, just as immersing myself into the English Premiership, is the most viable option for achieving this.

And my point is…

It’s all in the preparation; don’t leave the outcome to chance and base your auditory success upon the principles of which I have based my first escapade into the world of Fantasy Football; lack of substantial resource, lack of preparation and lack of auditory knowledge!

For a further discussion on how not to leave your audit success to chance - contact us today.

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