X is for X in the box

Kris Atkins
December 23, 2020
Advent Alphabet Series

He’s checking his list, he’s checking it twice… If only compliance checking was as simple as “naughty” or “nice”!

Management systems exist to drive continual improvement in an organisation, but all too often system processes, management control documentation and audits of the system itself are approached as a check-box exercise- an overly prescriptive and binary approach that focusses on completing paperwork and not finding opportunities for improvement.

We recognise the cultural, structural and behavioural reasons why many systems fall into this trap; we recognise too the benefits that can be realised from a lean, adaptive and responsive system can bring.

For example, processes should be driven by the expertise of those who use them, be informed and improved by feedback / lessons learned, so that task owners can see the process improving delivery.

System audits should similarly look beyond whether the audit question is answered in the positive or negative, and consider why this is the case (I am a huge fan of the “5-Why’s” approach), and indeed whether the question being asked is the correct one!

A positive, proactive and creative approach to the "Check" part of the plan> do> check> act cycle is key to driving continual improvement in your organisation

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