quinta-feira, janeiro 03, 2008

Auditorias que acrescentam valor (parte III de IV)


A segunda referência era: “Internal Auditing: The Big Lies” (Quality Progress, Maio de 1999) assinada por DeWitt Beeler, a quem já desde já tiro o meu chapéu virtual, pelas ideias defendidas. Nota-se que é mais um daqueles casos em que alguém fala de desafios mentais (na primeira pessoa) que lhe surgiram, e das respostas heterodoxas a que chegou:

“At present, auditors seem to be on a trajectory toward what could be called “auditing for maintenance of registration.” This seems to be focused primarily on checking compliance with a particular ISO standard (or, more accurately, with a particular registrar’s interpretation of the requirements of a particular standard) with the tacit assumption that this will, through some mysterious process, ultimately contribute to organizational success. This could be charitably viewed as believing in miracles. It could be more realistically viewed as relying on them.” Como uma entrada destas, a minha mãe, se lesse este postal, até acreditaria que quem o escreveu tinha sido o “je”.

“The majority of auditors approach the task of auditing based on a set of axioms that they have not so much learned as absorbed. They don’t question them. They don’t critically examine them. If asked to recite them, they probably couldn’t do so. And yet, on every audit, they follow them faithfully.
The big lies
These unconsciously held axioms are what are referred to here as the big lies of auditing.”

“Big Lie No 1. Audits are about compliance”

“If auditors are going to conduct internal audits, they should do so in a way that provides the maximum possible value to the line managers. This means that they must break away from the self-imposed restrictions of compliance auditing and learn to gather useful information on the full spectrum of issues with which managers are concerned.”

Isto está relacionado com os postais anteriores sobre o objectivo das auditorias.

“Big Lie No 2. Audits should focus on facts”

Espero que a editora não se aborreça comigo, este ponto é tão importante, mas tão importante que não resisto a transcreve-lo quase na integra:

“… Certainly, audits should be concerned with facts. Auditors should seek facts, record their observations accurately and objectively, and restrict their findings to those that can be reasonably supported by the facts uncovered during the audit. Facts are critical to effective auditing. But to say that audits should focus on facts is a misleading and ultimately damaging perspective. Audits should focus not on facts but on systems. The purpose of the audit is to provide valid feedback to management on the adequacy, implementation, and effectiveness of the systems. This is the goal, and it is this that must be the focus of the audit.
Auditors tend to forget that facts are not useful or meaningful in and of themselves. They have meaning only insofar as they shed light on something that matters, like the functioning of the organization’s systems.
Auditors often imbue individual problems with more merit than they deserve. They label them “nonconformances.” They find other nonconformances to go with them, link them with a set of obscure requirements that they violate, type them up, slap on a cover letter, and call it an audit report.”

“As the old saying goes, one can’t argue with facts. This is indicative of what auditors do far too often in audits: They focus more on protecting themselves from objections than on collecting and providing useful and meaningful information.
Este ponto do autor é fundamental. “Focusing on individual facts also makes it difficult to raise their sights above the level of individual observations to the level of systems. Until auditors learn to analyze and arrange the facts they have gathered into a persuasive set of conclusions that shed light on the functioning of the organization’s systems, and stop treating individual “nits” as if they have intrinsic meaning, they will never escape the dead end they have created for themselves.” Que melhor legenda poderíamos associar às figuras 6 e 7 deste postal?

“Big Lie No 3. Auditor cannot make judgments”
Outra deixa para abordar na quarta parte desta série.

“The problem is not that auditors make judgments, but that they refuse to make the right kinds of judgments. Auditors spend so much time talking about facts, compliance, objectivity, and similar myths that they forget the central truth about auditing—that it is a process of inferential reasoning. Auditors work from limited and incomplete bits of discrete information (facts) gathered from reviewing documents, interviewing people, or observing work activities. They must use inferential reasoning to draw conclusions about the adequacy, implementation, and effectiveness of the organization’s systems from these facts, and link these conclusions to the facts from which they were derived.

The traditional reaction to this has been simply to retreat and fall back on the comfortable and easily defended (but generally meaningless) level of individual facts and findings that are really nothing more than a rote recitation of the individual things they have found wrong. This eventually leads to meaningless audit reports and wasted organizational resources. This can only be combated by developing a willingness to focus on systems and make judgments about them based on the evidence gathered in the audit.

“Big Lie No 4. Audits are a verification activity”

“Audits should not be a verification activity but an information-gathering activity. Their purpose should be to gather and analyze the information needed to make informed judgments about the organization’s systems and feed those judgments to the managers responsible for those systems. Although they should be rooted in specific facts and observations, they should not (in fact, must not) be limited to them. Auditors tend to focus on the transient, the incidental, and the mundane. Their audit reports, not surprisingly, tend to become recitations of the little things they have found wrong.”

“Big Lie No 5. Audits drive continuous improvement”

“This is an old claim that has often been used to justify the existence and growth of audit programs.
Unfortunately, it has more to do with advertising than good judgment. “

“Audits cannot drive continuous improvement. If conducted properly, they can contribute to it. They can be a part of it. In some cases, they can actually be an important part. But audits are too limited in scope, frequency, timing, and expertise to become the driving force behind an effective continuous-improvement effort. At best, they can be the driver behind a useful corrective-action process. “

“Big Lie No 6. Internal auditors should emulate their registrar’s auditors.”

“This is a new lie and one that must be stopped before it grows enough to do the same long-term damage as those mentioned earlier. People who had hardly heard of an audit before they embarked down the ISO 9000 path have suddenly found themselves responsible for planning and conducting entire audit programs.”

“This is precisely the wrong approach for internal audits (whether or not it’s the right one for registration audits is a different debate). Internal audits should not be clones of registration audits. And yet, that is precisely what too many auditors are beginning to do: They are following their registrar ’s auditors into the same trap from which those who have lived with audits for the past four decades have been trying to escape. (Era capaz de jurar que já escrevi algo muito parecido com isto)
Auditors are spending too little time trying to cover too many systems, so they end up with audits that are a mile wide and an inch deep. They are focusing on trivia, on individual nonconformances, and providing almost nothing in the way of useful systems-focused information”

Para terminar:
Auditors have to do them; they might as well make them useful. Following is a brief look at the primary characteristics that companies must ensure are built into the audit programs that so many auditors already have or are in the process of creating.
Focus on systems. Auditors must raise their sights and skills to focus on systems. Their preoccupation with relatively unimportant facts, and the rote reporting and correction of them, perpetuates an answer-factory mentality that adds little or no value to organizations and does little to help managers do their jobs. To succeed, auditors must become relevant to the success of the organization. Success doesn’t mean the absence of failure; it means using fact-based observations as a basis for drawing conclusions about the health of the organization’s systems and reporting these conclusions in a way that can be used by line managers to initiate long-term improvement.”

Mas será que a maioria dos auditores não questiona aquilo que faz? Não se interroga sobre que valor é criado, com a realização de auditorias de conformidade?

O truque de seguir as referências, para aprofundar um tema, não deixa de me surpreender com o seu poder.


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