When starting a lean journey, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s very important to understand where you are as an organization – to understand your current reality. Maybe you have already started on your journey, and want to know how you are stacking up to your goals? Let the Lean Learning Center help. We offer an outside and structured view of your organization taken through our experienced lens with our audit and assessment services.
What’s the difference between Audit and Assessment?
An audit and an assessment are very similar, so how do you know which one you need? The answer depends on the purpose of the review and how the results are to be used.
Generally, the purpose of an assessment is to get a snapshot of the current reality of your organization. The purpose of an audit is more pointed and focused on compliance. An audit also measures the current reality, but it then compares it against a specific standard. This will illuminate specific gaps that should be corrected.
For example, accountants audit a firm’s financials and their financial processes to assure investors there aren’t any concerns. OSHA audits procedures and the workplace’s environment to ensure proper safety protocols are being followed. Process audits exist to ensure that a process is working as desired. 5S audits find failures in sustaining 5S. Audits are meant to find pre-defined problems that then must be corrected.
Assessments have a different purpose. They are meant to help define current reality – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Assessments do not necessarily target pre-defined problems. It should paint a picture. It should reveal new insights. It should provide direction for improvement efforts. It should provide a measuring stick towards the ideal state. For example, an assessment may find that your organization is lacking standard work instructions – an important tool in the Lean toolbox, while an audit may find that, while SWIs are present, your employee might not be following them, or that it is not working as anticipated.
Since assessments and audits have different purposes, it is important that you should understand your purpose before embarking on any strategy that engages these tools – and ensure that the assessors or auditors are clear about the difference as well.
Integrated Lean Assessment
Our on-site assessment will illuminate the current reality of your group or organization. We will then compare the current reality with your ideal state. Throughout the process, we will uncover specific gaps and give recommendations to help you achieve your objectives as we move closer and closer to your ideal state.
This process can be used as a getting-started tool, an input to the annual planning process, or a check-up along your lean journey. Both qualitative and quantitative, the assessment covers 13 wide-ranging categories – from material and information flow to problem-solving and employee engagement. A quantitative score helps you measure progress year-over-year, while qualitative feedback includes specific details, information on broad trends and issues as well as suggestions on how you can close the gap to your desired state.
If your organization has established its own operating system and principles, the Lean Learning Center can also custom design an assessment tool that provides feedback using your own language and criteria.
The Lean Learning Center provides the best in Audit services. We will audit your processes for compliance against structured processes such as standard work instructions (SWI), checklists, standard operating procedures (SOP) or company policies. However, simply posting your audit results is not nearly effective enough. The real power is to learn how to use them in a non-punitive manor to motivate your teams, close the gaps, and drive real results. The Lean Learning Center can perform these audits for you, and/or train and coach your leaders to perform regular audits internally while driving the results you need.
Let The Lean Learning Center Help
When you’re immersed in an operation of any kind, it is difficult to give it a truly objective assessment. Sometimes an outside, experienced, and structured view is the best way to get a clear look your organization.
How do you know that you’re making the right improvements? What opportunities are you missing altogether?
The Lean Learning Center provides the very best in organizational audit and assessment services, let us help.