IN THIS ISSUE
Gaining Commitment – A Step or a Continuum?
Seasoned control self-assessment (CSA) facilitators know how critical it is to gain commitment from an organization's senior leadership to ensure the success of a CSA effort. A successful self-assessment process requires not only the backing and support of senior management, but also their willingness to step up to a leadership role in the process. Is gaining commitment a single step or a continuum that runs throughout the process? Experience suggests that commitment and support needs to run throughout the CSA, from the planning stages through final reporting. The following tips can help facilitators maintain commitment during the entire process.
Planning. Commitment is a key criteria when selecting CSA participants. A successful workshop begins with the right people, with the right frame of mind, in the right environment. During planning, the facilitator must ensure management has confidence in the survey and workshop participants selected, and therefore will embrace the results of the workshop. The facilitator’s role is to get management to encourage participant commitment that will enable successful results.
Conducting the workshop. To continue the commitment continuum, it is helpful for the organization's chief executive officer or senior CSA champion to “kick-off” the workshop, confirming the importance of the participants’ focus and input. Management should encourage open communication guaranteeing no reprisals, thereby showing their support of the workshop and their commitment to its success.
Analyzing the data. Management must be committed to listen to the issues and recommendations resulting from the workshop, and consider the issues identified. Although there is no guarantee that management will act upon or agree to all of the recommendations that come out of a CSA workshop, with upfront commitment they will be more open-minded and better prepared to follow through on the action plans developed. This is a vital demonstration of commitment to the process.
Reporting. Commitment requires leadership who will understand and acknowledge the issues and concerns raised, and commit to taking necessary action and following-up to conclusion.
Commitment is such a critical part of a successful CSA effort that rather than just viewing it as a step in the planning process, it should be viewed as a continuum that runs throughout the process and rises to prominence in each step along the way. Facilitators who help to evoke this commitment throughout the process will improve the chances of conducting a successful CSA project.
Bill Huckaby, president of Providential Services Inc., provides training in auditing, risk management, internal control, control self-assessment, and related areas. He has more than 20 years' experience in the field, including public accounting and serving as the director of internal control for a major insurance company. Huckaby is a speaker at IIA-sponsored conferences and a volunteer IIA seminar instructor. He also served as the president of the Central Arkansas chapter of The IIA for fiscal years 2003 and 2004.
The Institute of Internal Auditors - 247 Maitland Avenue • Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701-4201 U.S.A.
+1-407-937-1100 • Fax +1-407-937-1101 • www.theiia.org
All contents of this Web site, except where expressly stated, are the copyrighted property of The Institute of Internal Auditors Inc.