Portfolio, Programme and Project
Assurance and Governance Support
Helping Board members to always remain in control
Today’s business environment is characterised by higher levels of accountability and the ever increasing scrutiny of the community, shareholders, government and the law. Programme and Project Board members, other key stakeholders and project team members are also seeking greater levels of confidence that benefits are real and will be realised in the most effective ways possible. Programme and project assurance provides Board members with greater comfort that their undertaking is on track.
In MSP, PRINCE2 and many other programme and project management methods, the accountability for programme or project success rests with Board members. It cannot be delegated to the programme manager or project manager. However, most Board members do not have either the bandwidth or specialist knowledge required to satisfy themselves that the programme or project is being managed appropriately.
As well, the critical function of assurance can often get pushed aside in lieu of more urgent work, and can end up only being performed late in the programme or project's life when it is too late to make an serious impact.
Programme or project assurance is a systematic approach to assuring the success of the undertaking. It provides for:
- independent reviews and assessments of plans, associated control frameworks, and overall performance;
- independent assessments of technical aspects of the programme or project, such as systems engineering, quality control, technologies, organisational change management and transition plans;
- participating in project and programme quality reviews and audits as required.
Programme and project assurance occurs when Board members obtain the information they need to resolve concerns and make informed decisions, by delegating responsibility to another person.
Another form of assurance is the conduct of stage gate reviews at key milestones in the programme or project's lifecycle. These reviews could cover such areas as:
- Scope and outcome desirability;
- Requirements completeness;
- Stakeholder engagement effectiveness;
- Delivery plan achievability;
- Business change and transition planning adequacy;
- Business Case viability;
- Change readiness;
- Benefits realisation.
The aim of a stage gate review is to help programme and project Boards ensure that their investment is well spent, meets organisational strategic objectives and achieves value-for-money outcomes.
The Gateway Review Process is a best practice initiative that is based on proven techniques used extensively in progressive industries and governments. The Gateway Review Process has been validated through use in a wide variety of projects and programmes.
Under the Gateway Review Process reviews are carried out at key decision points in a programme or project's life cycle, by a team of experienced people, independent of the project team. These reviews are not intended to be audits, but rather value-adding activities providing advice to the sponsor of the programme or project under review.
An outsourced service means that people being interviewed are more likely to be open in discussing their concerns with an independent assessor compared to someone in their management chain or customer/supplier chain.
An externally sourced assurance service delivered against a plan defined during programme or project initiation provides more certainty.
- Assurance Plan;
- Assurance Records (interview notes, document reviews, systems reviews);
- Assurance Report(s).
To discuss how we can help support Programme and Project Boards through assurance activities, including independent stage gate reviews, contact us today.