Mind Mapping as a Tool for Auditing
When planning an audit of the HQ operations of a Nordic oil and gas operator, it was decided to experiment with the use of mind maps as tools for delivering the audit. Initially it was intended to limit the mind mapping technique to the audit preparation – indeed it proved to be an excellent method of gathering together the objectives, scope, criteria and sponsor concerns in a single picture.
Mind mapping was also found to be a useful alternative to checklists, especially for the kind of audit where discussion of certain key topics and allowing concerns to emerge from the conversation is more appropriate than checking compliance with a list of prescribed requirements. This led to a further use of mind mapping: gathering together the emerging issues and concerns, making connections and rolling them up into a smaller number of overarching themes for presentation to management.
At the closing meeting, the attendees were fully engaged by the pictorial representation, especially the connections between findings. Whilst not as formal as a root cause analysis, this joined-up approach was certainly appreciated by the auditee management who could immediately see past the individual findings towards the underlying themes.