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Assurance for High Risk Projects

Assurance for High Risk Projects

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Published by mkrigsman
UK National Audit Report document on the need for an assurance program to detect issues on ICT projects earlier in the lifecycle.

For more information see my blog IT PROJECT FAILURES, on ZDnet:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/projectfailures
UK National Audit Report document on the need for an assurance program to detect issues on ICT projects earlier in the lifecycle.

For more information see my blog IT PROJECT FAILURES, on ZDnet:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/projectfailures

More info:

Published by: mkrigsman on Sep 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/22/2010

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 Assurance for high risk projects
JUNE 2010
 
The National Audit Ofce scrutinises public spending on behal oParliament. The Comptroller and Auditor General, Amyas Morse, is anOfcer o the House o Commons. He is the head o the National Audit Ofcewhich employs some 900 sta. He and the National Audit Ofce are totallyindependent o Government. He certifes the accounts o all Governmentdepartments and a wide range o other public sector bodies; and he hasstatutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efciency andeectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used theirresources. Our work leads to savings and other efciency gains worth manymillions o pounds: £890 million in 2009-10.
Our vision is to help the nation spend wisely.We apply our unique perspective o public auditto help Parliament and government drive lastingimprovement in public services.
 
Overview
Good assurance provides an independent assessment o whether the elementsundamental to successul project delivery are in place and operating eectively. Initsel assurance does not deliver a project, but it can identiy and help mitigate anyrisks to successul delivery present in a project’s sponsorship, business case andbenefts plan, governance and reporting arrangements, contracting and supply chainstrategies, commercial and delivery skills, unding and resourcing and overall projectmanagement approach. Assurance provides inormation to those that sponsor, govern and manage a project tohelp them make better inormed decisions which reduce the causes o project ailure,promote the conditions or success and increase the chance o delivering the requiredoutcome cost-eectively. It helps ensure the disciplines around delivering projects areollowed and highlights where they have not been.Central government’s high risk projects are requently large scale, innovative and relianton complex relationships between diverse stakeholders. Such projects oten present alevel o risk that no commercial organisation would consider taking on and our previouswork indicates that projects can ail to deliver as planned to time, cost and quality. Inthis context an enhanced control environment is a sensible way o reducing the fnancialrisk to the public purse and increasing the chance o achieving value or money orthe taxpayer.Over the past decade the introduction o independent assurance such as the Gateway™process, the Major Projects Review Group, Starting Gate and Assurance o Action Planshas improved signifcantly the control environment around high risk projects. We supportthis achievement while noting the impact o constraints on how assurance currentlyoperates, most notably the lack o a clearly stated and enorceable mandate.In our view central government now needs to build on these successes by ensuring thatthe system o assurance:has a clear mandate;
¬
is non-optional;
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is outcome ocussed;
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is built on a higher and more exacting evidence base;
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triggers urther interventions where necessary;
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is integrated across all mechanisms;
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provides the ability to plan and resource assurance activity;
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systematically propagates lessons learned; and
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minimises the burden placed on projects.
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