Agile internal auditing: Kingfisher case study

We spoke to Ross Finlayson, Head of Audit for Offer and Supply Chain at Kingfisher Group. 

We are investigating how to incorporate Agile principles into all our audits explains Ross Finlayson, Head of Audit for Offer and Supply Chain at Kingfisher Group. The group started a trial to see what “agile” could mean for its internal audit team 18 months ago and is now exploring rolling out to the whole function – this is going to be a big step. 

So far, Agile principles and techniques have been applied by the internal auditors working alongside the Group’s digital team. Following the success of this trial, the Heads of Audit are  developing a toolkit to enable all internal auditors to adopt Agile ways of working for the full range of audits – from back offices to stores. 

“We chose to trial the use of an Agile approach when working with our Digital and IT teams to improve the speed of delivery and overall efficiencies of our engagements” explains Ed Wilton, Head of Group IT Audit at Kingfisher. “Digital developments are moving at such a pace within our organisation that traditional audit methods couldn’t keep up – by the time we delivered findings, our stakeholders were working on something else.” 

The two key drivers, he says, were to improve customer focus – for example, by delivering findings faster – and better collaboration within the team. 

Wilton first encountered Agile at Screwfix, part of Kingfisher that has used Agile principles for its systems developments for the last decade. He became enthusiastic and signed up for training to find out more. The whole IT and digital assurance team has now been trained on the SAFe methodology – a Scaled Agile Framework used within Kingfisher for systems and Digital development.

The team breaks audits and…