Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Information : ISO Audit System Consolidation
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ implementation of the ISO Audit System Consolidation improved the audit process by providing access to audit schedules, corrective action plans, and corrective action follow-up to make trend analysis possible. Cost benefits have been realized by eliminating overlap and redundancy.
The ISO Standard requires that internal audits of key processes be conducted and identified issues be resolved in a timely manner. In 2000, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) developed and implemented a database to automate its record keeping, track audit schedules and corrective actions, and to perform trend analysis. The database consolidated audit schedule reports and corrective action data. NGES’ Management Systems Assessment (MSA) Group performs overall audit direction and coordination, with 17 different functional group audit coordinators and a pool of “citizen auditors” with subject matter expertise. Initial metrics indicated that 435 audits were scheduled in 2000. By 2003, the number of audits was reduced to 300, decreasing overlap and redundancy.
The database also improved the tracking of corrective actions. Reports were created that showed a current status of all corrective action plans with a management escalation process to handle all delinquencies. As a result, the number of overdue corrective actions decreased from between 25 and 30 in 2000 to between 2 and 3 in 2005.
Additional improvements to the data system have made the trending of findings possible. Reports are generated monthly and are sent to NGES’ president for visibility. The MSA group now performs ongoing analysis of the audit program and provides monthly performance metrics with half the previous management staff. NGES is currently looking into web-based audit management approaches as a sector solution.
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