The Checker Blog

Gaining the Benefits of Audit/Inspection Software: Where Do We Start?

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 09:59 AM

It’s one thing to be aware that using software to transform audit/inspection processes can provide numerous business benefits. It’s quite another thing to actually begin using software to gain those benefits.

Expressions-16.jpgAudit/inspection software such as The Checker Software has so many capabilities to create and support improvements, it can be daunting to decide where to focus initial implementation efforts.

But this decision—where to begin?—is the logical first step in any software implementation. It must be made before you can begin down the road toward maximizing the value of audits and inspections.

Fortunately, this decision doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s really common sense, and it can be made by simply answering the fundamental question: “In what areas of our company do audits and inspections have the greatest impact on costs and risk?”

The areas you identify will probably seem self-evident, but listing them out will serve to focus your organization’s attention on them as you get started with your implementation.

Operational Cost Impacts

One area that many companies will quickly identify is the audit/inspection impact on production lines. If a particular aspect of the production process is subject to breaking down—and that failure will result in shutting down or slowing the process—then that aspect is an obvious place to focus initially. It is a high-value concern, and improved audits and inspections can clearly reduce the failure rate during production.

This logic is true for any asset or equipment that is critical to an essential element of operations. If something breaking down can stop or hinder you from doing what makes you money, there’s an opportunity to gain much value by auditing or inspecting that thing.

Maintenance is another area where audits and inspections can greatly impact costs. The maintenance department should be immediately notified whenever an audit or inspection reveals a problem that needs fixing, so that the problem’s costs can be eliminated ASAP. Ideally, problems should be detected and reported to maintenance before they become more serious and expensive problems. And audit/inspection results should be used by maintenance to determine the most cost-efficient preventative maintenance schedules based on historical failure patterns.

If that’s not how it’s happening in your organization, you can significantly reduce maintenance costs and operational disruptions by concentrating initial software implementation efforts on this area.

Risk Impacts

The areas being considered here are often thought of as vulnerabilities that need defending against—a defense audits and inspections can provide.

Human safety is always a top risk concern, and so any operation that poses the potential for serious injury or fatality is an obvious place to begin making improvements using software. Improved audits and inspections will reduce incidence rates.

Another vulnerability related to safety is compliance. Any area of your operations in which non-compliance fines would be relatively high is an area to put on your list. So is any area in which non-compliance would likely trigger a regulatory audit.

Facilities are also vulnerable. Are there are any aspects of your operations that could damage or destroy your facilities? Or that could harm personnel working in those facilities? The issue could be chemical hazards, fire hazards, air quality problems, or something unique to your operations. Whatever these vulnerabilities are, they should be included in your initial-focus areas.

Takeaway

If you’ve decided to implement audit/inspection software to maximize the value you get from your investment in audits and inspections, you’ve made a wise decision. Now, to get started, focus on the areas where audits and inspections have the most impact on costs and risk.

Reducing production downtime, lowering maintenance costs, and minimizing safety/compliance risk are typical areas on which to focus, but each company may have different priorities.

Topics: inspection management, inspection best practices, audit software

The Easiest Way to Score Items in an Audit

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 06:47 AM

Shuffleboard_scoring_area.jpgWith basic inspections, a simple pass/fail determination by the inspector is all that’s necessary.

But with audits, more detail is typically needed. An auditor often needs to be able to quantify the degree to which an item is out of compliance with internal or external standards. This quantification helps greatly when prioritizing the correction of deficiencies.

That’s why we include a scoring capability in The Checker Software. Using this feature, each item in an audit doesn’t just pass or fail; it is assigned a number of points on a scale you determine. And you are completely in control of which items to include.

This capability enables you to use the software for any type of audit you need to conduct (facility audits, hazard assessments, safety committee reviews, etc.). You gain the efficiencies of software without sacrificing any detail.

How It Works

One of the plusses of our scoring feature is that it’s so easy to use. It’s not a cumbersome process involving lots of manual typing and clicking between screens.

The set-up is simple. Using our Administration Module, you can easily create the scoring scale that make sense for each item you’re auditing. Then when users are auditing, all they must do is select the appropriate score from a drop-down menu.

The software shows you the subtotal for each item and calculates the total score and percentage score. No one has to manually enter numbers or use a calculator.

To help users decide the appropriate score, you can add in definitions of each scoring level, which users will see in the drop-down menu when they are making their selection. (Even in a pass/fail situation, you can use this feature to require users to select a deficiency level, such as the amount of risk a hazard poses.) And users always have the option to add in comments, or even attach photos or documents, to clarify why they gave the score they did.

Another advantage is that if you develop a scoring system that you discover doesn’t make sense, you can promptly make necessary adjustments, without the time and expense of creating new paper forms (if you’re using paper for your audits) or being forced to get IT involved (if you’re using complex software such as Enterprise Application Software that isn’t specifically designed to make audits easier). For example, if you set a low score as a zero, but you realize the condition correlated with that score isn’t really as bad as it gets, you can make an adjustment in no time at all, avoiding having to use negative numbers for conditions worse than your original zero.

The value of our scoring feature doesn’t end when audits are conducted and corrective actions taken. The more-detailed data provided by scoring compared to pass/fail results in better information when making important business decisions such as determining the frequency of preventative maintenance or deciding which operational processes need to be improved. Because the data is instantly archived and you can create custom automatic reports, you can almost effortlessly gain insight into areas of concern.

Takeaway

The capability to score items—instead of just passing or failing them—is essential to get the most value out of audits. The Checker Software’s scoring capability increases efficiency (i.e., saves money) by making the scoring process easier and more effective for management and users in the field.

Topics: risk assessments, audit software

Doing Inspections Isn’t Enough. You Need an Inspection Program.

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 @ 09:15 AM

When we began providing safety consulting and training in the late 1980s, very few companies had a safety manager, or even a safety program to manage.

They were just beginning to realize the enormous cost and risk of unsafe business practices, and that’s why they were seeking people like us to help them develop a systematic approach to safety.

Creating an inspection program increases effectiveness and lowers costs.Today, many medium-size and large companies not only have safety managers, they have safety committees and well-documented safety policies, procedures, and training requirements. There is always room for improvement, but they have developed legitimate, effective safety programs.

Now we’re recommending that companies begin to think of inspections and audits in the same way.

Where Is the Inspection Program?

In addition to safety programs, it’s become common to have compliance, quality control, and maintenance programs, headed by a specific manager. But you never hear about “inspection programs.”

Inspections and audits have a direct impact on safety, compliance, quality control, and maintenance, but they are still almost always incorporated into those programs rather than being considered a separate, distinct aspect of the business.

That is a mistake, because it leads to an ad-hoc, fragmented approach to inspections that costs companies a substantial amount of money.

Without a dedicated person to manage inspections (e.g., the safety manager) and a comprehensive inspection program that applies to all divisions, departments, locations, etc., a company has no consistency in:

  • how inspections are conducted
  • what is required to be inspected
  • how (and when) results are communicated
  • how the loop is closed between results and corrective actions
  • how results are archived and reported.

This lack of consistency inevitably leads to many inefficiencies. Inspections are like any other part of a business—the higher the level of coordination, the higher the level of efficiency.

Lack of a formalized, effective system for communicating results and initiating action steps also increases costs and risk due to miscommunications and delayed reactions to results.

And the lack of a consistent program makes it difficult—if not impossible—to use results in proactive ways, such as preventative maintenance, scheduling, or, and training.

Moving Toward Inspection Maturity

My belief is that widespread creation of formalized, comprehensive inspection programs isn’t that far off.  The business case for such an approach to inspections is simply too compelling to ignore, particularly with the development of technology such as The Checker Software, designed specifically for managing inspecting and auditing programs.

There will be resistance, of course, as there is any time a fundamental change is made in a business (regardless of whether the change is positive or not). For one thing, there must be an admission of the cost of not having an inspection program—an admission that may not be easy for some to make. To make the case that an inspection program will save money, the reality that the company has been wasting money has to be faced.

However, I’m optimistic that good business sense will win out, and that 20 years from now, inspection programs will be as common as safety programs have become.

Why wait, though? You can gain a competitive advantage now by beginning to think of your inspections and audits as a distinct part of your business and taking steps to develop a mature, consistent, and comprehensive inspection program.

Takeaway

A consistent, company-wide inspection program—as opposed to an informal, ad-hoc approach to inspections and audits—will reduce inefficiencies and minimize risk. Software specifically designed for inspection management can help greatly in the creation of the program.

 

Topics: inspection management, inspection best practices, inspections and profitability

Using your audit/inspection program to look ahead.

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 @ 04:09 PM

Audits and inspections aren’t just for complying with regulations or finding out what isn’t safe or operating optimally at the moment.looking-ahead.jpg

When used to their full potential, audits and inspections can reveal important, ongoing trends. And that insight can enable your company to:

  • become safer
  • lower maintenance costs
  • improve operational processes
  • make better procurement decisions.

These improvements are made possible by collecting, aggregating, and analyzing audit/inspection data. This too-often-ignored data can help answer key questions such as:

  • Do aspects of our operations have a higher-than-normal rate of safety violations, incident rates, or asset failures?
  • Do certain groups (divisions, crews, etc.) have a higher-than-normal rate of those problems?
  • What types of assets (by function, manufacturer, distributor, etc.) break down most often?
  • How much cost should we budget based on historical safety and maintenance costs in relation to audit/inspection results?

If you aren’t using audit/inspection software, making use of audit/inspection data in this predictive way is unfeasible due to time constraints, labor costs, and the logistical difficulties of manually aggregating data across numerous jobs and locations. Fortunately for companies that understand the predictive value of audit/inspection data, the development of software such as The Checker Software has removed these barriers.

Now your audit/inspection data can be automatically collected, aggregated, and analyzed for trends—allowing you to address problems before they occur rather than only reacting to problems after they happen.

Safety

On-the-job injuries can have a devastating human toll. They also can be financially disastrous for a business. 

Regular safety audits and inspections (the collection of data) are essential in injury prevention, and audit/inspection software makes it easier for personnel to conduct them. The software also instantly communicates results so that appropriate personnel can take immediate action on any issue.

In addition to this on-the-job functionality, the software’s ability to spot safety trends can help identify areas where enhanced training and/or additional safety measures are necessary, based on the safety history for a specific group, type of job, or other relevant factor.

Maintenance

Analyzing audit/inspection data can reveal patterns in when assets break down or otherwise fail. This information can be used to predict wear and develop preventative maintenance strategies to address that wear before it causes failure or becomes too serious.

This use of the data minimizes replacement costs, work interruptions, and additional operating costs due to suboptimal performance.

Business Processes

Audit/inspection results can provide a red flag when some aspect of your operations is causing assets to wear and break down prematurely.

If every time you perform a certain type of job, a particular piece of equipment used for the job breaks down within the next month, you can reasonably conclude that something’s wrong, and it may very well be the way your personnel are using the equipment for the task.

That may not be the problem, but at least you’re looking at what’s really going on and so can figure out if there is indeed a process problem. If you weren’t paying attention to the data, however, you would have missed the red flag.

Procurement

When you have a high rate of breakdown, or a quick rate of wear, for a piece of equipment from a particular manufacturer—and you’ve ruled out incorrect usage on your part—you have an indication that the manufacturing quality is subpar. When you make your next purchase decision about that type of equipment, you will have that knowledge to guide your decision-making.

You also will have clues to what’s important in determining durability as you evaluate your purchase options.

Takeaway

There is no excuse anymore for not getting the full value out of the audits and inspections you’re already doing. Software like The Checker Software—designed specifically for audits and inspections—makes it easy and cost-effective to proactively use the data that’s generated to become safer while positively impacting the bottom line.

Photo credit - Chase Elliott Clark

Topics: inspection best practices

4 Essential Steps for Implementing Audit/Inspection Software (aka change is hard)

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Mar 09, 2017 @ 09:44 AM

change is hard.jpg

An unfortunate reality in business is that organizational change meets resistance—even if the change will almost certainly result in positive benefits. People get stuck in their ways, and so do organizations. When changes need to be made, it’s usually not as easy as you might think it should be.

But accepting a less-than-optimal status quo simply to avoid the challenges of change isn’t an acceptable alternative for companies focussed on long-term success. They understand that the short-term pain will be worth it.

But how can you lessen that pain?

In helping our clients adopt The Checker Software to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their auditing and inspecting processes, we’ve seen what works in overcoming the inevitable resistance to meaningful organizational change.

Here are four steps that we advise all our clients (or any organization undertaking change) to take:

1. Make sure management buys into the change.

If your organization has decided to implement a performance-enhancing change such as The Checker Software , you’ll need a unified front by management at all levels in support of the change—not just one or a few “champions.”

Before implementing our software (or making any other significant change), meet with all your management personnel first.

Ask for their input if you’re still deciding on whether to use the software. If you already have made the decision, explain why you made it and then ask for their input in how to best implement it. Managers can be more resistant to anyone to organizational change, so an important goal is to win over any who are resistant. Providing detailed explanations of the benefits, seeking input, and responding respectively to that feedback (even if it’s off-base) is a proven way to get reluctant managers to buy into a change.

It’s simple human nature: if they feel their opinion and experience is given no weight, they’re going to be more prone to focus on the challenges of the change than on the positive results it will bring.

Providing explanations and including all managers in the decision-making process (as much as possible) will also provide them the knowledge to explain the benefits, as well as the challenges, to their supervisees as the change moves forward.

2. Meet with the entire organization when introducing the change.

After you have managers on board, it’s time to seek buy-in from everybody.

When undertaking a change such as beginning to use our powerful audit/inspection software, the change has significantly less chance of being a smooth transition if the people who will actually be making the change aren’t happy or clear about it. Non-management personnel are no different than managers—they want to feel as if they are helping direct the change, at least to an extent. Most will appreciate a chance to share their input, even though the decision has already been made.

Call a meeting of the entire organization to give all personnel that opportunity. If your organization’s size or structure makes a meeting of the whole organization impractical or unnecessary, at least include everyone who will be affected in any way by the change.

Don’t treat this meeting as a “one-off” event. Make it clear that you welcome ongoing feedback, and be sure to follow up on any recommendations or concerns, whether they’re made at the meeting or at any other point in the change process. You may very well receive feedback that will prove extremely valuable. Often, the personnel who are on the “front lines” will have insights that others couldn’t possibly have.

3. Leave no doubt that there is a “no-exception” policy once the change is made.

The meeting with all personnel is also the time to unequivocally state that lack of compliance with the change won’t be tolerated. So, in the case of our software, our clients have to be firm in insisting that, at a clearly defined point in the change process, all personnel will have to use the software. No exceptions, even if they’d prefer to continue using paper or some other system.

To lessen any anxiety, explain exactly how you’ll train them to be ready and what support they’ll receive, but make it clear that they must be ready by a certain time.

No matter what the change, if it’s a significant one, you’re probably going to hear about how it’s not ideal from some folks. They may complain that the change is making them less efficient. They may hope that if they resist the change, things will go back to the way they were.

In making a positive change, returning to the status quo is exactly what you don’t want to happen, so be firm and don’t give them the option to delay or hinder the change. (That said, the goal is always to eventually get them to go along willingly, so keep working on educating and training to get their genuine buy-in.)

4. Have a systematic plan in place to maintain the change, provide ongoing training, and make any necessary adjustments to make the most of the change.

Even once a change is in place, the challenge of change isn’t over. Before organizations even make the change to our software, we recommend that they establish a well-defined, systematic plan for:

  • monitoring compliance with the change
  • enforcing compliance
  • training and re-training of personnel
  • evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of the change
  • making any necessary adjustments to fine-tune processes.

A plan with these elements will keep the organization on track with their use of the software.

Takeaway

When an organization decides to begin using The Checker Software, we recommend four key steps, which we believe apply to any major change within an organization:

  • Make sure management buys into the change.
  • Meet with the entire organization when introducing the change.
  • Leave no doubt that there is a “no-exception” policy once the change is made.
  • Have a system in place to maintain the change, provide ongoing training, and make any necessary adjustments to make the most of the change.

Topics: inspection software, inspection best practices, audit software

Implementing Audit/Inspection Software – Part 4: Training & Going Live

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Feb 01, 2017 @ 01:25 PM

In the final blog of this series we will talk about the testing and training elements of implementing audit/inspection software.

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Part 1: Planning & Process

Part 2: Solution Design

Part 3: Configuration & Customization

Part 4: Training & Going Live

Project Team Training

Training your project team (the people who are making decisions about how audit/inspection software will be used within your business) should be done throughout the project. By considering training early, you can ensure your team is aware of the software’s capabilities and be better positioned to make decisions later in the project. This training should be considered generic and is intended only to provide exposure and general understanding.

End-User Training

End User Training is training to perform only the tasks and functions they will do personally. This is the most focused of the training and usually the shortest. It may need to be delivered in a repeatable format so users can absorb it over time.

Train the Trainer

Trainer-training is intended to create power users who will be responsible to train other individual users. This training is very focused on particular job functions and the steps required for performing specific tasks.

Testing Needs Training

The key to testing is to provide the right level of training to the right users at the right time to ensure they can adequately test. While it may seem obvious, many organizations forget that in order for testing to be thorough and effective, users need to understand how the audit/inspection software works and what it is intended to do.

Unit Testing

Unit testing is the process to test individual features or functions in an isolated manner. For example, in an audit/inspection project this might be to test the creation of a new checklist to confirm that the necessary data can be captured. This is normally performed by the project team as they are configuring and customizing the solution. In order to perform this type of testing, the tester must understand the requirements of the individual features.

Project Team Testing

Project Team Testing is the process to test a group of features or functions that work together. For example, how a supervisor reviews/approves an audit along with the related approvals and communications. This is normally performed by the project team members who have understanding of the overall business requirements of the solution. In order to perform this type of testing, the tester must understand the requirements of the individual features as well as the capability of the software.

End user testing

End user testing is the process to test all aspects of the solution by a set of end users. End users must be trained to perform their normal tasks and should then execute them in the system in a test environment to ensure they can be completed.

End user testing is most often performed at the end of the project as a final test before going live with the software but the users doing the testing must be engaged throughout the project to ensure requirements are captured and are not overlooked.

Going Live

Going Live is often a date and as such as the date approaches so does the urgency to “turn things on”. While it is important to set a date it is also important to ensure you aren’t going live simply to meet a date. If your training and testing are complete and signed off on, then you roll out your software to a broad audience. To do so beforehand, simply to meet a date will create as many issues as it solves.

Plan for Success

It is inevitably there will be a few speed bumps in implementing audit/inspection software. A well planned implementation can ensure these bumps are minor. Don’t forget to look to your audit/inspection software vender. They will have best practices and experience that are invaluable to your implementation.

Topics: inspection software, audit software

Implementing Audit/Inspection Software – Part 3: Configuration & Customization

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 @ 06:48 AM

In parts one and two of our Implementing Audit/Inspection Software blog series, we cover the planning and solution design stages. Part 3 starts with systematically working through your Solution Design roadmap to address the requirements that will be fulfilled with configuration and, if necessary, those that require customization.

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Part 1: Planning & Process

Part 2: Solution Design

Part 3: Configuration & Customization

Part 4: Training & Going Live

Configuration – Settings and Personalization

Configuration generally refers to adjusting all the “out of the box” capabilities. While some of your requirements will be fulfilled immediately upon logging in, others will require the software to be set up or “configured” first. Most SaaS products have settings which can be set to allow the software to be implemented in different types of businesses and personalized for your requirements.

Using the Solution Design Roadmap from the previous step, you will need to work your way through the software and set up each of the relevant configuration elements. Depending on your level of technical expertise or familiarity with software, you may look to your audit/inspection software provider to help you work through each of the critical settings.

For instance, with The Checker, locations, assets and personnel need to be set up. We recommend doing this early in the process to and in some cases work with customers to get this done for them.

This is the time to fix your workflow

One of the most common mistakes we see at this stage is to try and configure the system to match their existing workflow. Often audit/inspection software allows you to be more efficient and effective and it actually makes sense to implement new workflow instead of replicating the old.

A good example of this is checklist formats. In some traditional paper-based processes, auditors are required to check everything rather than simply note deficiencies. The Checker allows users to decide which type of checklist (points scoring, positive, negative, etc.) they want to use and implement it directly in the software.

Customization – Only if it is mission critical

Customization adds unique capabilities that are not available natively to software. In our experience it is important to ensure any customization requirements that need to be coded or developed are absolutely critical to your business. There are well-documented risks to over customizing a system and making it difficult to use and/or difficult to upgrade.

Customizations should only be used when they provide quantifiable business value and return on investment. If a customization is overly complex, expensive or does not provide enough value, then alternatives should be considered. These include enhanced configuration, workarounds, or integrations.

At this point your audit/inspection software is ready for testing by users to see just how intuitive and powerful it is. In the final blog of this series we will talk about the testing and training elements of implementing audit/inspection software.

Topics: inspection software, inspection best practices, audit software

Implementing Audit/Inspection Software – Part 2: Solution Design

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 01:12 PM

Software-as-a-Service solutions like The Checker are available over the web, with no hosting or installation required, and are quite simple to implement. To ensure the greatest success however even a SaaS project should be approached in a systemic fashion.

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In Part 1 of our Implementing Audit/Inspection Software blog series, Planning & Process, we describe the steps to determine 'what' you need the software to do. This post focuses on Solution Design which is the stage where you determine 'how' audit/inspection software will meet the needs of your business. This subtle but important difference will help you to make sure you are capturing important items necessary for the Configuration & Customization stage.

Part 1: Planning & Process

Part 2: Solution Design

Part 3: Configuration & Customization

Part 4: Training & Going Live

As you map each business requirement to the inspection and audit software, you will find many choices that need to be made including things like:

  • who does what tasks
  • where to enter particular pieces of data
  • what values are optional and what values are required
  • what user types are needed
  • user security

The Solution Design step helps you to formulate the solution to be developed, keeping in mind the end users and the business requirements.

Keep in mind if you have never been required to articulate “how” the software will meet your requirements, it isn’t easy. One advantage of purchasing audit/inspection software instead of developing it in-house is it provides many best practices and will help ease the process. Let your vendor and their knowledge help guide your choices for how to best use your new audit/inspection software.

The outcome of the Solution Design stage is a roadmap that shows what requirements can be fulfilled with the standard features of the software, which requirements can be fulfilled with configuration, and which requirements will require customization.

With this roadmap in hand you will be able to move forward to Configuration and Customization which are the topics of our next blog post.

Topics: inspection software, audit software

Implementing Audit/Inspection Software – Part 1: Planning & Process

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 @ 12:53 PM

Many people believe they can simply install the software like an app and start inspecting. And from the outside it may seem this is all that is required, in actuality the best and most successful implementations follow a more robust set of steps that follow best practices to ensure post implementation success.

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This post is the first of 4 that will walk you through a standard audit/inspection software implementation project.

Part 1: Planning & Process
Part 2: Solution Design
Part 3: Configuration + Customization
Part 4: Training + Going Live

The first step is often executed as a series of discovery meetings. Some common discovery items are:

  • How will the business requirements be documented?
  • Who will work on the project?
  • Which audit/inspections will the software address?
  • Are there new/additional audit/inspections to be implemented?
  • Is the solution cloud or on-premise?
  • What are the security expectations, who will use the system, and how will they access it?
  • How will team members on the project communicate? Will they meet in person, virtually, or will there be a project portal?
Discovery becomes the foundation for configuring the new software and also helps build out the project plan and to identify gaps. The point is to think through everything that will be considered during the project.

The next aspect of the planning step is to take the time to think through the process. Process design is simply determining what steps are involved in performing audits/inspections for your business. Defining your processes early on in the project and ensuring that the whole team understands them is critical. The most common method is to run process workshops and create process flow documentation that illustrates each step

The audit/inspection software you have selected likely includes some form of pre-defined process or workflow and these are very helpful to kick start your efforts to document process. At some point though you will still need to capture and define any specific requirements which are not the same those available “out-of-the-box”.

Depending on your project, your documentation may be fairly detailed or it may be higher level. It will evolve as you work through the upcoming steps and it may help to envision it as a guide for the project team to understand "what" is getting done. The bottom line for the discovery process is that the implementation team and project team must both understand and agree on the business processes and the objectives of the project.

The next post in this series, Solution Design, covers taking your business requirements and processes and mapping them to the inspection and audit software you are implementing.

Topics: inspection software, inspection management, audit software

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing Audit / Inspection Software

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 06:06 PM

Choosing to use software to conduct audits and inspections for your business is an easy choice. Implementing it however can be more daunting. To help you, we have summarized what we believe are five of the most common mistakes with some handy tips to avoid them.

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Mistake #1: Failing to take the first step in the right direction: back The first step in an audit / inspection software project is to step back, assess your current state and determine your desired future state. After doing this, then you can most accurately determine how software will help move you towards your vision.


Mistake #2: Underestimating the need for training
Training needs to be part of your project from the very beginning. Companies often underestimate the expertise, staffing, and training needed to maximize the implementation of a new system.

Mistake #3: Allowing Some Users to Not Use the System
During implementation, some companies allow users to opt out, both actively and passively. This is a mistake. We recommend demanding 100% participation (of your testing audience) to make sure you learn everything you need to know before rolling out to the entire department, division or across the enterprise.

Mistake #4: Overlooking the “Three Ps”—Process, Process, Process
Many companies assume that audit / inspection software will solve their process problems. It doesn’t. A thorough process mapping will not only help ensure your software is best configured for your business but will also help you identify bottlenecks that can be reduced or even eliminated.

Mistake #5: Opting for the cheapest solution
This is a selection issue but it has real impact on implementation as well. The decision about which audit and inspection software is the best for your organization is a matter of value, not cost. A lower cost option that doesn’t perform a key function may cause operating inefficiencies that cost your organization far more over time.

The Bottom Line
If you avoid making these mistakes, your implementation project will be a success. Knowledge of the best practice approach to audit / inspection software implementation, as well as the common pitfalls, will significantly reduce the chances of making a bad decision or the project failing.

Topics: inspection software, audit software