Getting started with inspection and audit software is exciting. Staff in the field love the simplicity, supervisors are able to approve with ease and management feels confident compliance requirements are being met. Despite the excitement though, all this initial enthusiasm can be diminished by a single factor – the human factor.
What is the human factor?
The human factor is how people interact and behave in relation to the new system. For inspection and audit software, the human factor tends to relate to how the system changes the way work gets done. For example:
- The Checker makes it easier to conduct inspections
- More inspections get done
- Supervisors approve and action more inspections
- Supervisors create more work orders to remediate identified issues
Even in this simple example you can see how the choice to conduct audits and inspections differently has created more work orders. This new workload isn’t likely to last forever but when it comes as a surprise, it can have serious consequences.
Outcomes like this can cause people to see the overall inspection and audit software project is a failure. This is the wrong way to think about it and an alternative view would be to see the project as an overwhelming success because identifying issues is the primary objective of conducting audits and inspections.
It is important to consider post-implementation from the very beginning. Creating a team of users from every level who are tasked to take a long hard look at the end- to-end inspection process is ideal. Not only can they review every sub-process (performing planned and ad hoc audits / inspections, approvals, remediation, reporting, archiving, etc.), before implementation they can provide critical input into where workflow and personnel are most likely to be impacted.
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