We work ‘Agile’ at Braindumplabs. Agile is as a Project Management Methodology very common in software development. Since I’m not a developer myself, it took me some time to get used to the way of working, the vocabulary and all the rituals. It’s all ‘refinement’, ‘sprint’, ‘ standup’ and ‘retrospective at our headquarters. Short term tasks are planned in great detail and everyone is equally involved and invested.
Research from the Standish Group shows that in 2009 only 32 % of software development projects in the United States was successful and in that year about 86 billion euro’s (100 billion dollar) was spent on projects that had failed. Agile has improved the success rate dramatically over the years. Can Agile also be adopted in auditing projects? Let’s work that out using the official Agile Manifesto.
“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”
This seems to conflict with auditing. The auditing process is covered in an audit programme. And how is an employee more important than the audit itself? This is not the true meaning of this statement. Agile empowers the employee. The employee has the power to make choices about the approach, structuring the work and keeping focus on the most important tasks within the team.
In an audit the programme has to be executed and the tasks have to be fulfilled according to the quality standards of the firm. But nowhere in the legislation the sequence of tasks within a phase is prescribed. So why not start with the most important tasks and show immediate progress to the customer. This could result in a more efficient approach for the rest of the audit.
Focudis as an Agile tool
Focudis can be used in an Agile way as well. Before the start of audit there is a ‘pre audit meeting’. In Agile vocabulary that would be the project start, a kickoff for the entire scrum team. Those meetings can be held standing up using post-it notes to assign priority to the tasks in the audit. Every team member can make a contribution. In Focudis the audit plan adapts to the risks you define. That way of approaching fits like a designer suit.
Every employee is assigned to the most important tasks or the task with the most dependencies, according to a backlog. That way the direction of the audit is unambiguous and the results are clearly visible. Every day starts with a ‘stand-up’ where every teammember shares his work the day before, the contribution in the coming day and possible impediments blocking the progress.
Employees are more zealous and feel more appreciated in an agile environment. Why not try to adopt some agile principles in an auditing workspace?
In the next blog post we will examine the second adage: “Working software over comprehensive documentation”.
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