Once you refocus your internal quality audit plans, you should look to avoid the top failures of conducting internal quality audits. Complacent internal quality auditing practices are very detrimental to yielding accurate, actionable findings. If you remember to keep the following top pitfalls in mind, you can improve the results of your internal quality audits.
The biggest failure to avoid is creating — or refusing to adjust — a rigid audit plan and schedule. Your quality management system should certainly be standardized based on the policies that you put in place as a quality management professional, but there is such a thing as over-reliance on a structured approach. To manage quality holistically, you must be able to adjust to shifts in your company’s risk assessments quickly; otherwise, you will be making a mistake by remaining inflexible.
A risk-based approach to conducting internal quality audits will also help you place traditional KPIs in context. Too often, context is the missing variable in the closed-loop quality management equation. Quantitative aspects always step to the forefront, which forces the qualitative aspects of internal quality auditing into the background. You should be wary of discounting key intelligence simply because you deem the information to be subjective and therefore nearly irrelevant to the traditional KPIs of an internal quality audit.
Certainly, the complete range of failures to avoid is wide. However, if you stay true to a flexible, risk-based approach to conducting your internal quality audits, you can place KPIs and findings in the right context to reveal better insights.