Mudassir Iqbal

Inspection and Audits

Before jumping in the details of the Inspection and Audits, let me explain PDCA Cycle;

PDCA by Mindtools

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle to differentiate between audits and inspections. At a high level, inspections are a “do” and audits are a “check”.

Now the PMBOK 6 Definitions;

An audit is a structured, independent process used to determine if project activities comply with organizational and project policies, processes, and procedures

Inspection includes activities such as measuring, examining, and validating to determine whether work and deliverables meet requirements and product acceptance criteria


The term ‘Inspection’ refers to a vital element of the project management process that involves in execution and effective completion of a project. The entire project team put in efforts to thoroughly review the completeness of the project including products, services, and activities and figure out whether the project meets the defined objectives. In certain cases, an independent third party conducts an inspection of final deliverables that allows a mediator to measure the effectiveness from a neutral perspective.

It is part of Validate Scope, Control Quality, and Control Procurements to verify the completeness and verification of the Product or deliverable


A project management audit is scrutiny designed to define the current status of work performed on a particular schedule considering the major components such as schedule and budget limitations. It refers to the independent and structured evaluation of the state of affairs directed by a proficient examiner. It provides insights into the work required in meeting project objectives along with highlighting mistakes that can lead to project failure and trigger timely corrective action. These audits are often associated with the general supervision of project management along with financial audits. A set of guidelines are formulated in preparing, performing, and reporting an audit. It involves:

  • Strategic project management tools for aligning and monitoring diverse features of a project
  • Identify defined phases and processes through a project’s lifecycle
  • Allocation of responsibilities that every project phase complies with critical project objectives

Why both are important

Inspections and audits are important tools involved in the procurement process that is implied in the execution of the project. One important benefit is that they aim to verify the deliverables or processes that comply with the needs of the project owner. Additionally, they serve as an important risk analysis in which systemic examination is performed to determine the degree of the situation and provide the execution of efficient management policies.


The goal of an audit is usually to assess overall compliance with one or more regulations, internal policies, or other compliance drivers.

Inspections can be thought of as compliance tasks with checklists.

  • Inspections to identify failures and it is part of Control Quality of Project Quality Management

Further Readings

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