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Operational Assessment of IT


Product Description
Product Details

Table of Contents




The Organization
Organizational Goals
Measuring the Success of an Organization
Voice of the Customer
Measuring the Success of the Processes


Operational Auditing
Operational Assessment
Operational Assessment Drivers/Impetus
Operational Objectives
Operational Factors: The Three Es

Operational Assessment Planning
Customer Relationships
Risk Assessment
Business Acumen
RACI Matrix (or RASCI)
Planning Memo
Project Charter
Adding Value
Key Performance Indicator
Operational Process
Process Review (As Is)
Activity: Procurement Audit Planning
IT Support of the Business Unit
Latency Delays
Business Continuity Planning
Planning Summation

Operational Assessment Fieldwork
Failure Mode and Effect Analysis
Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
The Five Whys
Pareto Principle (80-20 rule)
Standardization or Anarchy
Control Charts
IT and the Business Process
The Fraud Red Flag
The Process
Business Continuity Management
Fieldwork Analysis
Purchasing Process


Assessment Reporting
Share the Picture
Report Distribution
Focus on the Issue/Concern
A Picture Can Say Volumes
Presenting the Report

COBIT Management Environment


Risk Assessment/Management
Washington State Audit Report
Typical Swim Lane Diagram

About the Author

Steve Katzman is a retired master sergeant who spent four years in accounting and finance and the rest of his 21-plus-year Air Force career in information technology (IT) and data communication. He has over 35 years of computer and technology experience and 14 years in auditing (internal and external). Mr. Katzman earned a BS degree in management information systems with a focus on business from Central Connecticut State University. He maintained several professional certifications, including CIA, CISA, CRMA, CRISC, and CISSP. During his military career, he held a top-secret security clearance.


When I first received this book for review, I was a bit nervous. I am not an auditor, and have never been one. It is true that I have participated in hundreds of audits across different industries and disciplines, as both a customer and much more frequently, as an advisor, but I never had to put my name to the bottom of an attestation (except, I suppose, for a few PCI self-assessment questionnaires).

In short, I was concerned that I would not be able to properly grasp it, and thus fail to do it justice.

By the time I was done, I found myself with the same concern, but this time, coming from a completely different angle.

Because Steve's book is truly a delight. I have worked with hundreds of auditors, and only a couple of them have ever shown the scope and breadth of experience, the desire to go beyond following rote process, and the sheer interest in staying true to the purpose of an audit - any audit - that Mr. Katzman exhibits in his book.

Steve's personal stories shine through, and really help in framing the conversation. The little quips he embeds throughout his writing made me chuckle repeatedly, certainly not what I expected from a book about what is ultimately a rather dry subject matter. The planning chapter alone is worth the price of entry, as first and foremost it does such a great job at reminding all of us why audits exist in the first place.

For me, this work provided a great insight into the mind of an auditor, in a way that I never quite grasped before. That is undoubtedly going to help me in future audits. Considering the way Steve seamlessly transitions between the client and auditor viewpoints, if you are an auditor (the stated target audience for this book), then I cannot imagine how it would fail to help in a mirrored fashion.

I find it fitting to end this review by borrowing Steve's own ending words from the book:

"Stay well, stay happy, and stay productive".

-- Barak Engel, CISO and author, Why CISOs Fail - The Missing Link in Security Management and How to Fix It

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