A brief guide to assignment team management
The success of an audit depends partly on how well you manage the assignment team.
Principles and approach
The audit task and business relationships are covered in our other practitioner’s guides.
The assignment team is a project team established solely to deliver a specific audit within a particular timeframe.
Management of assignment teams
Good management of assignment teams requires detailed planning, clear goals and responsibilities, good communication, good discipline, well-understood processes and timely monitoring. Ensure you have an assignment plan, that monitoring is at least weekly and that an adequate quality review is in place.
A good assignment leader inspires confidence and trust, motivates the team, communicates well, acts in a consistent way, listens and is appropriately flexible. They will remove obstacles to success, be available and supportive and encourage openness. Plan actions to help you achieve this.
To establish the assignment team, you need to get everyone together and start working as a team. Create shared goals, clarify responsibilities, encourage team input and ideas, agree how communication and quality review will work.
Working as a team
It’s also important to try to meet the needs of the individuals in the team. Discuss what they need to improve and develop. Identify any personal circumstances that would need more flexible working arrangements. Find out what they expect from you. Agree personal objectives.
Try to make the individuals in the team feel valued. Let them know why they were chosen for the audit and how you expect their skills/experience will contribute to a successful audit. Involve them, get their ideas and ask for their advice. Say thank you and praise them for good work.
During the audit you need to maintain team spirit. Involve everyone in regular progress updates, get problems out in the open and address them, focus on achievements and any positive feedback received. Involve everyone in grouping the audit findings identified into key issues and in agreeing the audit opinion.
Finally, you need to close down the assignment team. Good practice is to have a post-audit review meeting involving the whole team. Review shared goals and objectives, discuss business feedback, talk about what went well and what could have gone better.
Following this meeting, discuss each individual’s performance against their objectives with them and complete an assignment appraisal. Ask them about your own performance, whether you delivered against what they expected of you and ask for formal team leader feedback. Thank the team for their contribution and celebrate success.