Live audits are conducted when the process owner or an operator performs his jobs while the auditor observes and asks process and work related questions while the live job/activity is performed. This happens practically at the process owner’s work place and work environment.
Process and procedure documents can be requested well before in advance before the live audit is conducted.
How should we conduct a live audit?
1. Observe how process owner perform his job, stop him/her and ask “Why” is the particular activity is performed.
2. Secondly ask “why” is the activity performed in a particular sequence. Match the activities and sequence in the process documents. If it matches then not only it helps you to gauge that training is provided to process owner or job owner but also implies they follow the process.
It is always advisable to question at least two process/job owner to determine uniformity in understanding of process and procedures. If, there is a difference in understanding an observation can be recorded under lack of training and probably in availability of documentation.
By asking these two important “why’s” you achieve a lot more and are able to conduct valuable live audits.
It is also suggested to prepare audit reports (77comply allows to add observations even after audit is over) after the audit is over since the audit is conducted in the midst of a live transaction and we should not be the reason to delay the transaction substantially. Having said that it makes sense to perform such audits during a lunch-break or a low volume period.
A live audit in a live environment has a greater advantage than auditing in a meeting room and imagining how process works. Seeing the process and procedures performed by the process owners in live environment is definitely worth a try since a lot more can be accomplished.
Other thing to note is that an auditor can also unlock the value hidden in these processes by suggesting waste activities and illogical sequencing identified during audits.