Top 3 Considerations for Enterprise Mobile Auditing
In addition to so many other benefits, leveraging mobile devices in the enterprise increases the efficiency and accuracy of data collected about the enterprise, itself. One benefit of adopting new technology is it gives you an opportunity to also assess your audit process and audit questions to ensure they are optimal. Put down the pen and paper and start enjoying all the benefits mobile provides. Reclaim the countless hours spent scanning, entering, and handling paper forms while ensuring accurate, trackable results. In this blog post we’ll explore the top three considerations for enterprise mobile auditing: 1) objectives and scope, 2) context and 3) audit design.
First, it’s important to clearly define the objectives and scope of your audit. For example, are you looking to audit the performance of an entire store—and store safety is one aspect of this? Or is the key focus safety itself, and you want to ‘drill down’ into the details of safe work processes? Mobile Audits let you segment surveys as discreetly as needed, so rather than try to capture everything at once, you can set objectives and scope upfront to really focus your efforts. Once you do, you may realize that what you had in the past as one survey would be better broken out into 2 or 3 ‘bite-sized’ surveys. Shorter surveys help improve adherence because they take less time to execute. Plus, they can help segment data correctly for reporting later on.
Now that you have clearly defined the audit’s objectives and scope, it’s important to consider the context of your audit. Mobile provides the ability to capture the data you need wherever you need it. Take your audits with you! And the efficiency of answering questions with just a few taps on a mobile device means you can capture data points as you go. With this in mind, be sure to reconsider the context of your audits. Given that auditing is now such a simple task, can you empower line employees to also be data collectors, as part of their daily tasks? Combined with data collected by managers, this could provide a more detailed picture of your operation. Who is going to perform the audit? Is there a specific individual who travels to do a monthly check in? Or can auditing be incorporated into the field employee’s daily processes? The context of the audit will also impact the question design. If employees are performing weekly audits, the questions would be different than those in a monthly store audit performed by managers. So make sure to take into consideration who will be performing the audit, and in what environment they will be doing it in. And look for new opportunities to extend auditing now that it’s more portable and more efficient.
Lastly, it’s important to ensure you design your audit properly for reporting and analysis. Review the questions you’re developing. Now that you have an easy way to capture data that goes right into a database, ask yourself: “Are there unstructured questions that would be better served by applying some structure?” Either Yes/No or a list of options, maybe? Does your audit include questions that measure adverse events? If so, for safety audits you might want to rephrase a question like “Is any personal protective equipment missing?” to be positive and specific: “Is all personal protective equipment present on the vehicle?” The former wording makes “yes” the undesirable response” instead of “No.” Ideally, all questions should be written in a similar format, such that “No” is the default undesirable response in all cases, making it easier to analyze the data without having to normalize it first. In addition, consider the way questions are grouped into sections and how the data—say, for a specific store—will be analyzed over time. Are you capturing the right data points, and in a manner that will provide actionable insights? After writing the audit questions, go back and analyze them to see if the answers give you what you need to make valuable business decisions. Because what good is a sea of data that you can’t act on? Lastly, consider the structure of what is being audited. How do you want to ‘drill down’ into your data? Make sure stores are accurately segmented by geography (whether by district, region etc.). Make sure employees are aligned either to teams or to geography. Think carefully about assigning the ideal audit structure to the subject being audited so that when you start building reports it’s easy to slice and dice as needed.
Congratulations! You now have an Enterprise Audit defined with a clear objective and scope. You have successfully tailored it to best suit the context and you have designed and structured your questions in a way that provides valuable insights moving forward. With these three considerations covered you are well on your way to a successful mobile audit!