140 Tons of Waste – need a Quality Audit?

Home The Savvy PM Blog 140 Tons of Waste – need a Quality Audit?

bp 28 Many organizations aspire to be Lean, Green, and environmentally friendly.  Sadly, many others just want to keep reports of their poor performance off the headlines.  A recent news report from the Washington Times pointed a finger at the EPA – the Environmental Protection Agency.  Here are a few highlights (or low-lights?) from that report on the EPA:

  • The EPA has 18 million pamphlets & brochures printed and stored in 1 warehouse in Ohio. That’s a 6-year supply.  (J-I-T?  I don’t think so!)
  • Costs us taxpayers about $1.5 million each year to store these flyers.  Not to produce and print…just to store them.
  • And, the EPA has already recycled more than 140 tons of materials, such as marketing items and technical manuals.

Oh, the irony!  Imagine the looks on the faces of those working for the recycling company when they noticed where the 140 tons of materials were coming from.  Wow.

Closer to home, we ordered 2 replacement cartridges for a printer.  The supplier shipped the 2 small packages separately…in 2 oversized boxes!  What?!?!  No “Green Award” for this one!


Quality Audits” is one of our favorite tools we discuss in our project management classes.  A quality audit is a checkpoint.  It causes the project team to pause, review current plans & processes, and ask questions.

  • Are we doing what we said we would do?
  • Does this activity still add value?
  • Does the value outweigh the cost to perform the activity?
  • Are there any gaps or missed opportunities regarding quality, cost savings, etc.?

The results may be glaring and obvious – like a big, empty box or 140 tons of brochures.