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If you are like most project managers, project audits are likely to be something that you dread. What’s not stressful about scrutinizing large amounts of resources, time and labor in order to locate weaknesses? Additionally, the very word “audit” bears a negative cultural connotation. However, far from being the proverbial doomsday scenario, project auditing can be simplified and rendered much less stressful after developing a thorough understanding of the process.

The first step is to understand that the goal of an audit is to ensure that the project is adhering to project management standards. This means that a project could still result in a positive outcome simply by virtue of undergoing an audit, no matter whether it passes or fails. Break out your project audit checklist, because to help make sense of this evaluative and investigative process is everything you need to know about project audits.

Project Audits Increase the Quality of Project Management

Project audits are often extremely beneficial to project managers because the evaluation process ensures compliance with company standards, procedures and regulations. This can result in an enhanced methodology that could be applied to future projects as well as implemented in concurrent ones.

Project Audits Result in Quality Products and Services

Make no mistake, project audits are a form of quality control. By scrutinizing the project life cycle, the quality of deliverables can be ensured from design to implementation. This aids in the identification of any unforeseen issues, some of which could potentially derail the entire project. The audit will determine whether or not the design concepts are complete and evaluate them alongside alternative concepts. Designs will also undergo a complete technical assessment prior to purchasing or coding. If an audit occurs during a pilot review, the goal is to determine readiness for pilot testing alongside evaluating whether or not the project is ready for complete implementation. An audit during the final phase, the implementation review, ensures that the new solution is properly implemented on each site.

Project Audits Result in Enhanced Project Performance

Auditing different phases of a project’s life cycle can drastically improve the entire project team’s performance. Potential improvements include pinpointing primary concerns, understanding how to fix potential problems and learning how to prevent new problems from recurring. This will improve the project team’s performance now and in the future by training them to identify and prevent similar issues, should they arise. This can also apply to individual performance, as an audit will assess the competency of each team member. Additionally, it will provide team members with an opportunity to grow through meaningful self-analysis, reviews and feedback. The result is a drastically improved performance, enhanced conflict resolution skills and the minimization of future mistakes.

Project Audits Pinpoint Potential Business Risks

A project audit calls for the evaluation of factors relating to the scope, budget and quality of a project according to your project audit checklist. This is accomplished by assessing the project’s affordability and return potential. This assessment necessitates budget and data reviews and should lead to a greater understanding of the target completion cost and risks associated therein.

If you have a project audit somewhere in the foreseeable future there’s no need to fear. Clarizen provides a robust project management dashboard designed to optimize efficiency and ensure maximum output no matter the task. By the time the audit arrives, you may be surprised at the proficiency that has already characterized the project simply by virtue of using Clarizen.