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Practice Areas: Organizational Project Management, PMO, Quality
Process audits
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How frequently process audits should be conducted in a multi year project?
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Semi-Annual or Quarterly if necessary - It depends on the size and complexity of the project.
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Quarterly / Half-yearly depending on the requirement.
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Frequency should be about six months, than base on result frequency can be increase, maintain or reduce. Often depend on corporate rules.
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This is a topic that is very close to my heart as I have had a lot of work done with the Quality groups in my organizations. My answer is that it depends on the project and how strenuous it he process audit of the organization. The idea of an process audit is to ensure that the project does not have process gaps and proceeds smoothly. With this in mind, any critical project of a unique nature should definitely have regular process audits with a quarterly lightweight audit and a yearly once full go through audit. But if the project is a routine one that is being done with a routine customer, then I would think an annual lightweight audit should suffice, until the project sets off some alarms in terms of slippage or budget. Most QA departments tend to go heavy on processes and want to have as frequent audits as possible. But as project managers we need to understand that every audit is a cost to the project in one way or another and we need to weight the pay off vs. the risks of having the audit and balance it right. But as you are in a PMO and would probably like to put in place a process that is not subjective, I would recommend that break your projects into two or three categories based on the projects that your company works on and based on the characteristics of the category decide the frequency and mode of audit.

Kindly note, more audits do not guarantee more success, but if you have good auditors, the possibility to identify issues is increased.
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1 reply by Sungjoon Park
Apr 03, 2017 7:11 PM
Sungjoon Park
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Thank you for sharing. I agree with you especially on "it depends on the project and how strenuous it he process audit of the organization........ until the project sets off some alarms in terms of slippage or budget".
Anonymous
Thanks for your comments.
From my experience, for new audits 6 months is the right time frame in large multi-year projects. Follow-up audits can be scheduled 3 months from the previous audit.

The auditors should not only focus on finding gaps; should also focus on finding the good practices and lessons learned which can be taken to other projects.

In Thales, we have a very matured process reference system at global level. The processes for a project are tailored based on the need at the beginning of the project.
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1 reply by Visswanathan KKN
Sep 14, 2016 5:47 AM
Visswanathan KKN
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Something went wrong! I posted this comment. but is showing anonymous post :(
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Something went wrong! I posted this comment. but is showing anonymous post :(
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I would say it clearly depends on the project.
Out of my experience the first approach is quartely(3 months).
Then based on the results we adjust the frequency.
Since I work with "integrated" processes sometime we have different frequencies depending on the process step being audited.
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Sep 13, 2016 3:54 AM
Replying to Ram Narayanan Sastry
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This is a topic that is very close to my heart as I have had a lot of work done with the Quality groups in my organizations. My answer is that it depends on the project and how strenuous it he process audit of the organization. The idea of an process audit is to ensure that the project does not have process gaps and proceeds smoothly. With this in mind, any critical project of a unique nature should definitely have regular process audits with a quarterly lightweight audit and a yearly once full go through audit. But if the project is a routine one that is being done with a routine customer, then I would think an annual lightweight audit should suffice, until the project sets off some alarms in terms of slippage or budget. Most QA departments tend to go heavy on processes and want to have as frequent audits as possible. But as project managers we need to understand that every audit is a cost to the project in one way or another and we need to weight the pay off vs. the risks of having the audit and balance it right. But as you are in a PMO and would probably like to put in place a process that is not subjective, I would recommend that break your projects into two or three categories based on the projects that your company works on and based on the characteristics of the category decide the frequency and mode of audit.

Kindly note, more audits do not guarantee more success, but if you have good auditors, the possibility to identify issues is increased.
Thank you for sharing. I agree with you especially on "it depends on the project and how strenuous it he process audit of the organization........ until the project sets off some alarms in terms of slippage or budget".

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