Welcome to the series of How To:Quality. Your 3 min guide on how Quality Professionals address various business needs to drive Improvement and Governance.

Quality Professionals, regardless of the sector they work in, strive to help businesses achieve their strategic objectives. They do this in various ways: be it deploying governance frameworks, implementing improvement strategies, or delivering assurance programmes.

In this post I talk about how Quality Professionals can pitch themselves as Auditors or as Quality Professionals or Business Assurances specialists.

How to: Pitch Your Work – Audit or Assurance

When you start your career in Quality; be it by accident or plan; your work gets branded. Sometimes it is through the auditing lens, others through the business improvement lens. Sometimes the theme is more business assurance, while other times it is Quality Control or pure Customer Experience and Service Quality. So what happens when your career progresses and you start working in all these paths? Would all previous paths you worked in become irrelevant?

The answer is a simple NO. Your entire experience is valid and relevant. If you find it difficult to articulate your work achievements to meet different contexts, this post is for you.

I will not go into the definitions of Audits and Business Assurance. I will only highlight that in some organisations Auditors get pigeonholed as only auditors and they won’t necessarily get invited into the strategic conversation as much as Business Assurance Specialists are due to some inherited perceptions.

So if an auditor addressed an organisation from the top down as a pyramid, then a Business Assurnance can achieve the same thing by ‘flipping the pyramid upside down’.

In my experience, I came across the benefit of explaining the benefit of the sharing outcome based on context. For instance, Auditors may talk about the governance an audit provides, Business Assurance individuals may explain the benefit ensuring things are done right. Both are aiming at the same thing in most cases. Below are four simple steps. If you are an auditor who wants to flag the great work that you do using the language of assurance, then follow the steps in the order presented below. If you want to tackle it the other way around, simply follow the steps backwards.

Think of a case you want to highlight the great work you did as an Auditor. Take a moment and articulate what you have done as an auditor. Now, use the below four prompts to articulate your same story:

  1. In order to achieve: insert initiative – and good to link it to strategy or risk landscape
  2. We can deploy an improvement project / initiative of: insert area of focus
  3. And we can do this in 4 stages: these are the improvement stages – you can also think of them as you PDCA
    – Review current situation
    – Perform gap analysis
    – Focus on specific area
    – Identify successes and areas of improvement
  4. In end, we will be able to demonstrate [insert X] in our assurance and [insert Y] for our governance (such as management/ board/ media/ etc..) Our success was x% and this has helped us focus on y%.

Did it work? Now challenge yourself to do the same activity again, but avoid using the words Audit. Why not share your success storied in the comments.

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If you would like to see a particular topic covered in this series, please get in touch and let me know the topic or scenario, and I will do my best to help. You can get in touch on your preferred platform 👇

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