• Beyond the Checklist: Driving Quality Through the Digital Audit


Beyond the Checklist: Driving Quality Through the Digital Audit


David McTaggart, President & Chief Executive Officer, ARMATURE, Dulles, VA, USA


Audits, Innovation, Technology





Audits are hard, and often far less effective than we care to admit. Why is this true, especially today, when we have so many digital and technological advantages at our disposal?

Thanks to advances in data science, we are now able to identify patterns, trends, issues, and opportunities in our audits. When done well, today’s audits have the potential to make organizations exceptional, helping them to move from a defensive and reactionary stance to a proactive position of strength in the marketplace. And the timing couldn’t be better, as customer expectations are much higher today than ever before.

Many of us still use binary checklists, which forces us to reduce our complex compliance findings to the boundaries of a tiny box or bubble on a sheet. We might have room to attach a small note or even a photo for context, but the checklist model limits our ability to drill down further in order to truly understand the why behind each nonconformance. What we need is a way to capture and act on not only the black and white, but all of the shades of grey that comprise our audits. We can then feed those dynamic findings into a system that can help us get to the root of our quality and compliance issues and launch remediation processes to address them. Tabular calculations, standards references, iterative discussions, detailed issues and risks, and contextual data; these elements move us beyond the checklist and into a richer and more meaningful audit and quality terrain.

As a technology company that supports accreditors, standards developing organizations, conformity assessment bodies, auditors, and quality managers, ARMATURE knows firsthand how modern-day audits, whether conducted on-site or remotely, can add value to your organization—as long as you know how to move beyond the checklist mentality and set up your audits to collect the data you really need.

In this thought-provoking talk, ARMATURE CEO David McTaggart will share audit and quality insights from his two decades in the field, focusing on what happens when you eschew the binary audit mentality and embrace a pro-audit culture that favors continuous improvement and opportunities for growth over routine checklist audits that may miss the mark entirely. When you combine this quality-first mindset with the right technology and analytics, you can move the needle for your organization and fuel both quality and growth.

As a top software architect, technologist, and CEO, Dave understands the impact that technology can have on business better than most. He knows that how you approach the construction and administration of audits can make all the difference, and he will share stories from the standards and accreditation world that make the case for sophisticated audit management software that can support ratings, tabular calculations, narrative responses, videos, photos, and real-time digital findings.

ARMATURE approaches quality from a different perspective—from the standards side—and our fruitful partnership with leading standards developing organizations, accreditors and conformity assessment bodies has inspired a suite of web-based tools that helps organizations move beyond the checklist mentality and learn to use audits to drive quality and open up competitive advantage.