Agile Internal Audit – from theory to practice

The Davies Report - Thinking Risk Differently

The agile proposition and promise

How do you get beyond the fad into practical application relevant to COVID and a disrupted world?

This morning I led a session with around 70 risk and assurance professionals on Agile Auditing – From theory to practice.

Agile internal audit has been getting a lot of buzz, and the client was keen to get beyond the theory into significant transformation that really delivers on the agile promise.

Methods and ceremonies or principles and promise?

In doing the literature and best practice review I found that most case studies focus on the agile methods and ceremonies without necessarily delivering on the agile principles and promise as depicted below.

The agile value proposition for projects.
The Agile Promise – delivering on the agile value proposition

My take on agile for internal audit

I’ve taken a few minutes to record a few thoughts while they’re fresh after today’s session. I speak briefly to:

  • The difference between the agile principles and the agile methods
  • My take on the agile principles that deliver on the agile promise
  • What to adopt and how to think about it
  • Three case studies that delivered on the agile promises and principles without using many of the agile methods or moving away from waterfall.

Learnings from the case studies

In each of those case studies, the client engaged me to develop and deploy the approach and they are a long way closer to delivering on the agile promise than most that I see. (without using Kanban or scrums).

A few recurring themes from those projects:

  • High customer engagement throughout and not just at the start and end
  • Quick roll ups for real time view and micro-deliverables
  • The ability to report at a sub-opinion level on any given day
  • Agile principles but few agile methods or ceremonies.

Response commensurate with the speed and size of today’s challenges

During times of change, uncertainty and COVID, breakthroughs are required. More of the same and tinkering around the edges isn’t the answer.

In considering how to use agile in audit planning and audit project delivery, keep the agile promise in mind to keep you on track in a way that is matched to the speed of the challenges and opportunities that your client is facing.

The four minute summary

If you are interested in genuine breakthroughs in internal audit along these lines this is what TDA does. Or if you’d like to workshop this with your team or to book a Lunch and Learn session please get in touch.

Please watch the four minute video and then get in touch when you’re ready.

I hope you find it useful.

Todd Davies