Necessary Evil: How To Conduct An Internal Audit

According to Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communication at the Tuck School of Business, "The point of a communications audit is to figure out what everyone is doing, and if they are working in the most productive, integrated fashion possible." Acquiring this knowledge is critical to executing a reorganization or restructuring of any kind. To conduct an audit, follow these steps:

1. Assess the current organizational structure by mapping out reporting relationships, both among individual executives and entire departments.

2. Interview managers in each department to get a thorough understanding of roles and responsibilities. Use this insight to analyze structural and functional effectiveness.

3. If time and resources permit, compare your organizational structure with those of industry peers, but always consider their approaches in the context of their own successes/failures.

4. Look for redundancies. "Audits do have a financial implication," Argenti says. "You may be doing the same thing three different ways when you could just do it once and do it right."

5. Based on the any redundancies or inefficiencies that you identify, plan out the new, best-case scenario structure that you want to achieve. Then, make sure it would effectively solve any problems/close any gaps before setting the reorganization into motion.

For more on Restructuring Organizations, see the January 19, 2009 issue of PR News.


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