• Audits - Effective Follow Up and Continuous Improvement


Audits - Effective Follow Up and Continuous Improvement


Marc Vogin, Fellow Quality Engineer, Siemens Energy, Inc., Orlando, FL, USA


Audits, Continuous Improvement, Key Performance Indicators


Energy/Oil & Gas



General Overview:

How do we learn from the audits we perform? Can the issues identified from auditing apply to other key processes in the organization? If so, what is done to make this known?

Audit Status / Follow Up:

Are summary audit reports prepared regularly (quarterly, yearly, etc.) that highlight areas of repeat noncompliance.

It’s important to keep all those involved aware of the status of the individual audits as well as the complete audit program. Are regularly scheduled meetings with the various department coordinators held to address any open issues? Do any issues need escalation. How is upper management made aware of these?

What information is being sent out on a regular basis. And who is it sent to. Typically, the lead auditor is the initial contact for any specific questions; but is there a lead that oversees all the audits in a particular department.

Key Performance Indicators:

Are Key Performance Indicators established and published to all parties that would highlight these issues.

Monitoring key information of the audits is also important for continuous improvement. Are the submitted audit plans realistic. Are you committed to getting them done when scheduled? Do you even know how you are faring against your audit plan (scheduled vs. actual start date)? Or does your organization continue to adjust the scheduled start dates.

Also, are the respective measures closed out in a timely manner. Do you have an internal KPI that you work to meet? How long does it take to close out an audit from the initial start date to all the measures are resolved? Is Audit Closure timeliness tracked?


Effective analysis of the audit findings key performance indicators is important for a continuous learning environment. How are the measures categorized (major non-conformance, minor non-conformance, observation, opportunity for improvement, best practice, etc.)? Do you look at what ISO section is causing the most measures?

With effective analysis, conducting Lessons Learned is also important. Are we taking advantage of all the information that we have? What went well? What went bad. How can we make the audit process better?

How can we use all this information to assist in audit planning? If we find key issues that may cause significant problems throughout the organization, do we need to take action and address them now. Do you need to modify your current internal audit plan for this, or adjust your long-term audit plan?

Are we performing the appropriate audits that are important to your department? Who is involved in determining the audit subject. Is it Department Management. Is the Audit Program approved by Upper Management? Is there an agreed to process where they review and approved the audit program (audit topics, number of audits conducted, etc.)

This presentation will present general tips and techniques that will aid the Internal Audit Department as well as the specific departments in your organization to better address key issues and take proactive steps for continuous improvement.