CHAPTER 32 Six Sigma and Lean Techniques for Internal Audit

Enterprise operations managers at all levels are regularly looking for ways to improve their operations, whether in shop-floor production processes or office administrative procedures. Internal auditors have a major role here through their internal controls reviews and audit report–recommended corrective actions. As discussed in Chapter 30, they can also have a strong role in launching process improvements by serving as internal consultants to their enterprise. However, internal auditors must keep in mind that there is no single solution or methodology for implementing best practices to improve operations, and should recognize that many different approaches have been tried over the years. Some of the older approaches or methodologies, although launched years ago, are still active, while others are now little more than footnotes in business history.

An overall quality improvement approach called Six Sigma was first based on Japanese quality assurance techniques developed in the 1970s and now has been successfully been used in the United States and worldwide to reduce errors and improve efficiencies in all aspects of enterprise operations. Six Sigma has its roots in statistical quality control procedures but now is viewed as much more of a process improvement approach. However, because of its roots in Japanese quality manufacturing processes, knowledgeable Six Sigma practitioners are designated as Green Belt certified, ...

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