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I work in an IT audit and compliance department. A peer of two weeks whom I am informally mentoring is very enthusiastic and picking up the work nicely. Unfortunately, his attitude could be more proactive and his judgement can occasionally be faulty. For example:

He was given some change requests today to review. On some items, management oversight was inadequate and not timely - Sign off late by several weeks. From my experience, this should be noted for follow up with the appropriate party. Yet, no concern was ever raised.

And:

Just last week, I was reviewing some of his work as part of peer QA, and the test sample chosen was not representative and hence any audit results derived meaningless.

Review procedures call for a adequate representative sample in line with risk tolerance thresholds, guided by one's professional skepticism / judgement. Hard rules such as X numbers of employees must be chosen or Y numbers of accounts must be validated are not practical. Rather, the size of the sample is governed by audit risk, so if there is more risk such when new systems come online, the test sample should be adjusted accordingly.

Many of these procedures are hard to definitively quantify, with no hard rules written down. Judgement and intuition must be used. I have reviewed with him the procedures to be followed for the different reviews, and reasoning behind such procedures.

How can I have this person be more proactive and improve his judgement in doing this work? Could something be lacking in my guidance?

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    It sounds like simply a lack of experience. Give him some time, and see if he picks things up :) – Jane S Nov 3 '15 at 1:27
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    Confidence also - he may have seen the issue but as he's new to this his confidence in raising it was low. This will also improve over time! – Michael A Nov 3 '15 at 1:43
  • I would say that in the first instance, he did use his judgement and judged the oversight to be adequate. Did you give him standards to go on? In the second case, the test sample chosen was not representative, and the procedures call for an adequate representative sample? How many are spelled out? Who says they were not adequate? Based on what guidance? You yourself admit "any of these procedures are hard to definitively quantify, with no hard rules written down." If that is true, the fault you are finding is hard to definitively quantify and he might be making a different determination.... – CGCampbell Nov 3 '15 at 4:10
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Patience

The most important thing here is to be patient with your new peer. Both experience and confidence take time to develop. Whilst he's new in this position he may be seeing some of these issues but as he doesn't hold the same relationship with the stakeholders that you do even if he's seeing some of these issues he may not yet feel confident in raising them.

Helping to foster experience and relationships

You said:

How can I have this person be more proactive and improve his judgement in doing this work? Could something be lacking in my guidance?

I believe that by offering your peer insight into stakeholders and approaches that you've taken you will help him to feel more confident in doing the same. Encourage him to bring issues to you if he see's them so you can offer insight into tactics for the stakeholder involved. Don't tackle the issue with the stakeholder for him though - if he's the one taking the issues he'll build relationships and confidence and once this has gone on for a while he should be able to come to you less and less.

Documentation

Suggesting he builds documentation as he learns new parts of the role has the benefit of creating a reference point for him (or future people in this position) as well as helping him to better retain the information.

You mentioned you were informally mentoring him also - it may be worth checking if there is anything from a former employee or manager that he can refer to or build upon.

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    "Patience." +1 for this. Two weeks is a very short time in a role to understand the intricacies and to know what you're looking for. – Jane S Nov 3 '15 at 2:00
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He was given some change requests today to review. On some items, management oversight was inadequate and not timely - Sign off late by several weeks. From my experience, this should be noted for follow up with the appropriate party. Yet, no concern was ever raised.

That honestly sounds like a learned skill as opposed to something that you should just know right off the bat. Perhaps a good idea is to hover over him as he reviews these and watch what he does. When he picks something you feel is wrong, explain to him that we should follow up with that because of X, Y, and Z.

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