Mike Garber, CGEIT, CIA, CITP, CPA
Many audit and IT governance people understand the value of monitoring. Monitoring provides for a more effective internal control program. With monitoring programs in place, audit and governance staff can provide a more current opinion as to the status of internal controls. Staff members may also find they have more time and resources to pursue expanded roles in sustaining good internal controls. Senior management may also recognize the benefit and sponsor monitoring programs.
Many IT audit and governance staff would like to jump to continuous auditing and/or monitoring; however, many processes that are appropriate for monitoring are not appropriate for continuous monitoring. The information needed for monitoring may not be in a form for practical automated monitoring, or the timing of the availability of the information may not be good to provide an opinion on the effectiveness of the control process. In these cases, the monitoring may need to be done manually by staff in business operations.
Business operations staff may not see or agree with the benefits of monitoring. Staff members have their own responsibilities and performance goals. Your monitoring project may not easily fit into their duties. They may resist, outwardly or passively, making a change to implement or support your monitoring project.
How do you overcome business operations staff’s resistance to your monitoring project to support a successful implementation?
- Recognize that there may be resistance to your project. Seek out opinions concerning your project, and document concerns and barriers.
- Identify the key staff and management that can support your project. Ensure that these staff members and managers are well informed of the goals, benefits and resources required.
- Develop and implement a communication plan for your project. Communicate clearly and frequently concerning the monitoring project implementation.
- Implement a good training program for all levels of staff concerned.
- Identify the personal benefits that can be gained by the management and staff that will be directly impacted by your project.
Resistance to changes in business processes is real. It needs to be recognized and dealt with head on to ensure success.