auditing process

auditing process. auditing process. ASSIGNMENT FOCUS

This assignment addresses the auditing process. Auditing is an important part of any quality system and it is important to understand some of the basic auditing concepts. Just a word of advice – don’t use auditing as a punishing tool, use it as a tool for continuous improvement – to find system weaknesses so you can improve them and strengthen the system. I have been through hundreds of audits either doing the audit or being audited and have always learned something from every one of them.


1-There are regions where the 3 spheres of quality overlap. What are some of the overlaps and why are they important?

2-Why are “people” the base of the Quality System Model?

3-What is the function of a Quality Audit?

4-Briefly describe the three main ingredients of an audit.

5-In the quality audit process, what is the purpose of the opening meeting?

6-The text describes two types of audits “Operational Audits” and “Performance Audits” What is the difference between these types of audits and which one of the two would you use to audit the quality management system in a manufacturing plant?

7-What is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative elements in an audit?

Lesson 14 – Implementing the Quality System


This final lesson of the class deals with the following questions:

If you don’t have a formal quality system in place, how do you implement one?
How do you validate and improve the quality system you have in place?
The operative word in these two questions is system. The quotation at the beginning of Chapter 15 by Armand Feigenbaum, one of the quality gurus, is most appropriate for this lesson. It states that total quality management or customer satisfaction cannot be achieved by concentrating on any single aspect of the organization. They all must work together.

The first half of the chapter reviews the building blocks upon which the three spheres of a quality management system must be built. The second half of the chapter deals with evaluating the effectiveness of the system through the auditing process to identify the weaknesses in the system that need improvement.


Throughout the semester we have talked about the quality management system, quality theories and principles, quality tools and methodologies, etc. Now the question is: How do you put this all together into a quality system in your particular organization and not only make it work, but maintain it and continually improve it?

As we discussed in previous chapters, it begins at the top with good, committed leadership and strategic quality planning. The focus then needs to switch to not just one, but all of the building blocks as the foundation for the three spheres of quality as presented in the Quality System Model. Of course, as Dr. Deming taught, the leaders and those working on the system must have the profound knowledge to do it right. That profound knowledge is:

THE KNOWLEDGE OF SYSTEMS- Knowing how the systems within an organization work together, how they are integrated and supportive for the success of the organization.
KNOWLEDGE OF VARIATION – Knowing that variation exists in all systems and processes, and understanding the two different causes, common causes and special causes, and then knowing how to address these causes in the improvement process.
KNOWLEDGE OF “KNOWLEDGE” – Knowing that making decisions, problem solving, planning, and simply running your business should be done based on facts and true data, not by guessing, hunches or gut feelings. This requires performance measurement and data gathering.
KNOWLEDGE OF PSYCHOLOGY – Knowing and understanding the people aspect of your organization, how they function within the system, what motivates them, and how to get them involved in the success of the organization.
In other words, you have to know what you are doing and how to avoid the pitfall of working hard to implement a bad, ineffective quality system.

Some key points to remember from this chapter:

The system is like a baseball team with many different positions
To be a successful team, each player on the team must know how to play their position and play it well
All of the players must also play together as a team
The system is not successful overnight; it takes time to mature and grow into the type of system you want it to be
It takes leadership, commitment and involvement of everyone in the organization
The Quality System Model presented in this chapter is a good example to follow.

Once the system is in place, it must be monitored and improved through the elimination of the special and common causes of variation in the system. This is accomplished through the auditing process. Select a quality standard, whether it is ISO 9000, Malcolm Baldrige Award, the Deming Prize etc., and internally audit yours systems to the standard to determine gaps and areas for improvement. Third party auditing can also be used to get a “fresh eyes ” look at your systems.


The quality system, as with any other system in the organization, should be a living system continually improving and adjusting to meet the ever changing needs of the organization. Successful systems require long-term commitment and support from organizational leadership and employees. Remember, the approaches in this chapter are not short term fixes.


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auditing process

auditing process

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