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Can Scrum Be Applied to Audit Projects?

Last post 04:48 pm March 25, 2024 by Hin Lung Chow
6 replies
08:44 pm February 20, 2024

Hello Scrum Community,

As an internal auditor with 5 years of experience, I often struggle to deliver audit projects on time, with high quality, and meeting stakeholder expectations. I recently discovered Scrum and was impressed by its potential. However, I've mainly seen it applied in IT. Are there examples of Scrum being successfully used in audit projects?


01:44 am February 21, 2024

How innovative do you need to be when performing an audit?

04:52 pm February 22, 2024

Scrum can be applied to any domain where there is a need to rapidly respond to changes in an environment where changes are frequent and the work is complex.  Depending on the environment you are responsible for auditing, it might help.  However, from what I know of audits (from being subjected to them), I am not sure it would be a good fit as they seem to be fairly straight forward. 

However, you might be able to use some of the practices to your benefit.  The Daily Scrum could be helpful for you to keep on track as it is intended for a team to plan their work for the day.  Making the work you are doing transparent to the stakeholders could help them to be better prepared to provide you the information that you need.  But the rest of the Scrum framework doesn't seem very useful to me for internal audits. 

05:50 pm February 22, 2024

In my experience as someone who has both been audited by an internal audit as well as performed internal audits, I don't see how Scrum can be applied effectively. Internal audits are usually scheduled in advance with a well-defined and stable scope. The work doesn't often change, and feedback isn't necessary to make adjustments.

However, something is being audited. Sometimes it's a product. Other times, it's the processes used to carry out work. Something that I have done is use Scrum (or Scrum-like processes) to maintain processes. Suppose you consider the processes and the process documentation to be a product. In that case, audits are a tool that the Product Owner can use to gather information about the product and how it's being used and applied. There may be opportunities to manage the thing being audited using Scrum, or at least borrowing practices from Scrum, if the organization is willing to adapt to the changes needed to be agile.

11:26 am March 8, 2024

Thomas and Daniel, I think you were very accurate in your contributions. My main doubt after reading here about Scrum was the applicability of the Scrum approach to our daily audit projects. I agree that some practices of the methodology are applicable but not the full package. Thank you for your reply as I was not convinced about doing a Scrum Master course right now.

10:01 pm March 10, 2024

Even while traditional audit scopes are well-defined and stable, it's important considering the iterative improvement and feedback loops that Scrum provides. By including Sprint Reviews and Retrospectives into audit workflows, you could establish a disciplined framework for reflecting on and improving the audit process. Sprint Reviews provide early stakeholder feedback on preliminary findings, allowing for modifications to stay on track with goals. Retrospectives allow audit teams to assess their teamwork, procedures, and tools, identifying adjustments that might increase efficiency and effectiveness over time. By adopting Scrum methods, you could help promote a culture of continuous improvement and stakeholder engagement, thereby improving the traditional audit process.

03:33 am March 25, 2024

No. You cannot give an audit opinion without completion of every section. Remember each part of the works of an audit is to give one single product - the audit opinion, ie the only product/increment/MVP of the process.

The only "scrum-able" angle would be consider the TOC and the actual ground-work audit as two separate increments, which is what common audit practice already is.

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