the Use of Job Cards to facilitate Audit management
The Job Card System
Asian Development Bank
Where is it from?
Agile Management tool, (especially project based work)
Originally developed for software development
Especially suited to small teams of highly skilled
specialists who work alone in ever changing areas
Suited to Audit Management
Promotes autonomy (self management and organisation).
Allows for rapid changes and flexibility.
1980s Japan, an extension of Kaizen manufacturing
Kaizen = kai (“change”) zen (“good”)
Regular product updates, each a little bit better.
Kaizen led to rapid copying and developing of new
products required flexible and adaptable management. (CD
players, MP3 players, cameras, mobile phones, DVD
1990s Software development, rapid and flexible delivery of
Speed to market. Beat the competition.
Autonomy (self management and decision making)
All team members are equally important for their
Focus on the outcome not the process (flexible)
Fast delivery in complex and changing environment
Uses a series of task cards to document tasks
The task cards are displayed on a wall to allow selection
Suits large teams working on disparate tasks (as in Audits)
Story cards are openly displayed, usually on a wall
The cards are in some degree of order of priority OR prioritised
Staff are almost freelance contractors. They can pick a card
that meets their interest or skill sets and take it off the wall.
Cards are signed out and signed in.
Simple Task Card:
As a working mother
I need my children
cared for between 9am
and 5pm today
So that I can work an 8
hour day without
Requirement (not solution)
Reason and objective
The Task Card:
As a XXXXXXXXX
I need XXXXXXXXXX
So that XXXXXXXXXXXX
client, customer, owner, who can
confirm delivery, correctness and
Clearly defined REQUIREMENT
(not deliverable) that can be
understood, converted to a
deliverable and completed
Clearly defined purpose for the
requirement to assist in converting
to a deliverable and for testing after
When Tasks are completed the cards are returned and placed
in a “awaiting testing” area of the wall.
Testing is carried out by either a manager, a peer, preferably
the task owner from the card.
Testing follows the card sequence backwards: “So that
XXXXXX”, “I need XXXXXX”. The test is does the completed
task meet these two requirements.
After satisfactory testing the Task Cards are placed in a
Completed section of the wall.
Problems with Card Agile:
Who writes up the cards? Usually it’s the team who are
determining the tasks.
All tasks are not equal. Team members will pick the easy or
interesting tasks, and leave the unpleasant ones on the wall
hoping someone else will do them.
Who tests the completed tasks. Usually other members of the
team (peer review) – not the client.
Card doesn’t determine the process, only the outcome.
Team communication is achieved by two mechanisms:
The constant review of the Project Wall Task Cards provides on
going communication of the status of the project. The team can
physically see and judge the progress of the project by the
number of cards completed, the number awaiting testing, the
number in high, medium and low priority.
Daily “Stand Up” meetings lasting 10-15 minutes, where each
member of the team briefly talks about:
what they did yesterday,
What they plan to do today
Any problems or issues that are affecting progress.
Team members can pick any Task Card they think they can
This allows younger or less experienced team members to try
new tasks and push their limits.
The tasks are sufficiently small and discrete that the failure in
testing of one has only a minor impact on the project.
The Electronic Wall:
Although Task Cards are stuck to the wall, they should also be
copied onto an electronic record system where they can be
Average time per task
Average time per team member
Test failure rates (overall and by team member)
Overall Audit progress as percentage completed.