One of the more important services I provide my clients is what I call a systems audit. The purpose of the audit is quite simple: to determine what is working, and what is not working, when it comes to the systems in use and how data is being managed. (With today’s highly integrated systems, this could include the AMS, the website, a learning management system, and much more.) A systems audit is much like getting a tune-up at the car dealer. It’s an opportunity to do the regular maintenance and possibly identify areas where there are risks or opportunities for improvement.
When the audit is complete, the next step in the process is to determine what can be done to address the gaps that have been identified (i.e., the things that aren’t working correctly that should be). This includes establishing priorities for which gaps need to be addressed first versus those that can wait (or possibly don’t need to be addressed at all) and how you can address these gaps.
Over time, every organization falls into a pattern of behavior when it comes to managing systems and data. A systems audit allows you to see where improvements can be made to ensure your systems continue to run a optimum levels. So whether you do the tune-up yourself or hire an outside expert to do it, if you haven’t had a tune-up in the past year or two, it’s probably time.