The Audit Report

Audits come in different styles—comprehensive, partial, and informal and cursory. A formal, comprehensive audit should be followed by a report that, at a minimum, contains:

1. Current project status. This is best shown by performing an earned value analysis (see Chapter 8). However, when earned value analysis is not used, status should still be reported as accurately as possible.

2. Future status. This is a forecast of what is expected to happen in the project. Are significant deviations expected in schedule, cost, performance, or scope? If so, the nature of such changes should be specified.

3. Status ofcritical tasks. The status of critical tasks, particularly those on the critical path, should be reported. Tasks that have high levels of technical risk should be given special attention, as should those being performed by outside vendors or subcontractors, over which the project manager may have limited control.

4. Risk assessment. Have any risks been identified that highlight potential for monetary loss, project failure, or other liabilities?

5. Information relevant to other projects. What has been learned from this audit that can or should be applied to other projects, whether in progress or about to start?

6. Limitations of the audit. What factors might limit the validity of the audit? Are any assumptions suspect? Are any data missing or suspected of contamination? Was anyone uncooperative in providing information for the audit?

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