Internal audits are a key requirement of any Quality Management System. As you are aware, the internal audit is designed to measure the effectiveness of the system. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two basic components that are critical to audit success.
First, understand the motivation. Many look at internal audits as a necessary evil—a time consuming effort that drains people and resources away from daily operations. This thinking makes it difficult for the internal audit to be successful--unless your definition of success is that it's done and out of the way. We need to communicate the importance of the internal audit function to the rest of the organization. In addition, staff members should understand the benefits a successful internal audit program provides to the effectiveness of the organization.
Second, define the objective of the audit before beginning. In other words, plan the audit and execute to that plan. Determine specific processes that you are measuring and the acceptance criteria for determining success or failure. We can't make suggestions for improvement, if we don’t understand the status of the current process. When successfully executed, your internal audit is much more likely to result in streamlined operations and positive impacts to the bottom line.
Finally, keep in mind that an internal audit is a means to an end. It's like practice for a sports team. Practice isn't always the favorite part of any team’s schedule. However when the players become committed to practice as a way to evaluate and work on gaps, the end result is improved play during the next game. The same is true with an internal audit.
To learn more about how Accupoint can help your organization maximize the internal audit process, visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com or call toll-free 800.563.6250.
Effective Internal Communication
Many companies do a great job communicating with shareholders and customers but fail when communicating with their own employees. When done properly, good internal communication can help employees understand a company's purpose and goals as well as the proper methods and practices.
But to effectively communicate with employees, you first must learn how to listen to them. Give employees the opportunity to respond to your company's communications--to comment, ask questions, and to make suggestions. A willingness to listen and integrate employee feedback builds trust. In time, employees are more likely to come on board and buy into company policies and directives.
Another great asset in building strong communication is the use of multiple methods. Everyone receives and processes information differently. Depending upon the individual, some methods will work better than others. A combination of newsletters, bulletin boards, e-mails, online blogs, social media sites, and texts all come together to form a much more effective communication process. A visual approach to communication has also proven to be highly effective.
When combined with the obvious, but sometimes missing components of honesty and consistency, the results of a great communication process begins to work it's way through the company. Employees are more likely to integrate the message into their daily practices, share feedback, and become a more motivated team member. The end result is a better workplace environment, employees that are a great source of public relations as they share positive experiences with those outside the company, and eventually, a better end product for your customers.
To learn more about how Accupoint's solutions can help improve your internal communications process, visit us at accupointsoftware.com or call toll-free 800.563.6250.
Workplace Safety Culture
Although injuries are actually lower in the oil and gas industry on average compared to most other industries, there is still much work to be done regarding the focus on safety principles and practice. The recent 3rd Annual Offshore Safety Conference in Houston highlighted practices that all industries, not just those in oil and gas, should implement in an effort to improve the safety culture of their company.
Safety should not be "added on" to an existing company's philosophy or practices. It needs to be at the core of a company's thinking from the very beginning. From the personnel to the processes, the focus should be on safety as a primary component. If management places an emphasis on safety but the production team is actually much more focused on getting things accomplished, the result is an imbalanced approach that can make the company more likely to experience safety issues.
The best time to begin thinking, planning and preparing for the safety practices of that will be put into place during a specific event is before that event actually happens and not after it has already taken place. Being proactive is a much better philosophy than being reactive.
Although it may seem hard to grasp in the highly competitive oil and gas industry, companies need to be more willing to share what they have learned both before and after events regarding safety issues. As a result, all companies will see continued improvement in the area of safety practices. The end result will be a safer work place environment for everyone.
For more information on how Accupoint can help improve your safety management program, please call 800.563.6250 or visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com.
Upcoming Spec Q2 Practitioner Training
Accupoint’s training and consulting partner, Wollam Petroleum Advisory Group, has just added a new public Q2 course scheduled for November 17, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
The objective of this training is to provide participants with the understanding, knowledge, and skills needed to successful deploy, implement and sustain the API Q2 controls listed within the specification. The course utilizes the latest teaching methodologies, practices, and techniques as well as practical application to ensure you leave with the required knowledge and practical application skills to return immediate value to your organization.
If you know of anyone who may benefit from this training, internally or externally please forward this blog post. Additionally, Wollam will make a special donation to Jamie’s Hope (a nonprofit organization) on behalf of any registered participant.
For more information, please visit www.wollampag.com or www.api.org.