Project Assurance is the term describing the approach to control by the client of a number of projects typically contracted out. It has become necessary as project considerations have tended to be centred on the issues of the management of an individual project or very similar projects sharing the same resource pool.
The initial concept was developed for a client with many large projects at different stages and with very little coordination between them. Each project had it’s own project management system framework supplied by a managing contractor and very little resource sharing was taking place. This resulted in a major problem for the client who had insufficient resources to cope with the information coming from all his projects.
Using the experience from this example and drawing on the large pool of project management experience within VPI Partners LLP, the approach has been further developed such that it can be applied in widely differing business sectors.
Project Assurance can be summarised as follows:-
- Policies Understanding the Client’s overall business objectives and policies.
- Processes Understanding the Client’s business processes and recommending changes where necessary.
- Information Flow Building the required information flow based on the principle that the minimum amount of information of the right quality at the right time which will give the Client the assurance that, as far as practicable, each project will either meet its objectives or, if not, give the earliest warning that management action is required. No additional information should be required of each project other than that which would already be prepared for the purposes of good project management practice.
- Information Processing Defining the processing of the information in order to meet the Client’s requirements for audit, review, analysis, recommendation and reporting. The requirements must mesh with the Client’s business processes including project gateway systems and corporate audit programmes.
- Resourcing Planning and building a fit for purpose team or teams to implement the required processes in the most efficient manner to meet the Client’s requirements.
- Implementation Preparation and implementation of a comprehensive Audit Plan and establishing the processes of Review, Analysis, Recommendation and Reporting. Designing and carrying out appropriate familiarisation programmes and workshops to ensure Client staff ownership of the new processes and their successful implementation.
Project Assurance provides assurance for a client that the projects objectives will be achieved within the framework of the Client’s policies and overall business objectives, ie delivery of both the projects and the benefits from them. Other benefits are relative project performance comparisons, potential project benefits evaluation and sharing of best project practices.