Saturday, September 10, 2011

Audit Findings

My personal experience shows that when audits are planned monthly or at milestones, it is very difficult to take any proactive quality measures. Let's say that SQA is conducting a review at the end of the design phase just before the milestone review, and during the audit they identify that a particular design option has been selected without applying DAR, then how can they close this type of reported non-compliance by having evidence that the project team is fixing the issue? What I have seen is that sometimes the project team considers the same non-compliance as an oversight like other types of mistakes and they close the non-compliance by labeling it as a lessons learned. Although as SQA I know that there might be a chance that this same issue can occur again in the future. But apart from presenting the findings to the milestone review meeting, we have nothing to do. And the SQA group does not have insight into most of the organization's processes where this type of event occurs so we can ensure every project is following the process per the plan. So please shed some light on this topic and suggest that what type of postmortem we can do as a reactive response and what type of proactive measure we can take?

It sounds like from your description that all that SQA does is flag a problem and then the project team declares what they are going to do and makes the final decision. In other words SQA has no control over the non-compliance after identifying the problem. This is an incorrect implementation of SQA. The SQA or PPQA people are the “eyes and ears” of senior management and if there is a disagreement between the Project Team and SQA about an audit finding, that must be escalated to Senior Management for resolution. The Project Team does not have the authority to declare that an audit finding has been correctly resolved. SQA has the responsibility and authority to decide if the non-compliance is being properly identified and worked. If SQA feels that the Project Team’s action to address the non-compliance is inadequate, then SQA should not accept the closure and insist that the Project Team take appropriate corrective actions. If SQA meets resistance, then SQA should escalate the issue to top management for resolution. Resolution may involve doing nothing, training or re-training the people following the process, modifying the process, or some combination.
Hope this explanation helps.

No comments: