Mitigating risk before it impacts project success

Using independent assurance to mitigate common risks when delivering publicly-funded programmes or projects.


Public and Social Sector Programmes and Projects

Taxpayer funded change initiatives must provide value for money and optimal benefits for all stakeholders.  Delays, cost overruns, and poor return on investment impact the public negatively and if an initiative should fail, the organisation as a whole can face scrutiny and potential reputational damage.

Key reasons publicly funded programmes and projects failure:

  • Timescales being set and publicly communicated early on which are later found to be unachievable;
  • Programme and project goals and objectives not being fully established due to a lack of business case;
  • Procurement commencing before scope and requirements are fully defined leading to cost overruns;
  • A lack of options analysis being undertaken to truly determine the most cost-effective and beneficial solution prior to delivery;
  • A lack of contingency planning or agreed budget;
  • A strategic risk management plan not being in place to feed into organisational management of risk;
  • Ineffective commercial and contract management processes.

Publicly funded change initiatives can have additional requirements to meet:

  • HM Treasury Green Book for a five case, three-stage business case;
  • Infrastructure and Projects Authority review standards for projects appearing on the Government’s Major Projects Portfolio;
  • HM Treasury Magenta Book standards for monitoring and evaluation of benefits;
  • Other specific standards set out in funding agreements from Central/Local Government grants.


What is Programme and Project Assurance?

Programme and project assurance is the process of providing confidence to stakeholders that programmes and projects will achieve their scope, time and cost commitments and objectives, realise their benefits and provide a return on investment.

Assurance also identifies improvements to assist in mitigating the risk of issues materialising impacting timescales, budgets or agreed scope and benefits. It is performed in real-time throughout the delivery of programmes and projects and is mostly forward-looking.

The benefits of independent programme and project assurance:

  • Reduces the risk of unexpected scope changes, delays, cost escalations and other factors detrimental to success in programmes and projects;
  • Ensures the right resources and tools are in place to allow for successful delivery;
  • Ensures that the overall end recipient of the benefits are being engaged with to ensure full, successful benefits realisation and return on investment.

Independent project assurance

Assurance is an independent, objective, and collaborative process. It works best when it is flexible and targeted for the needs of the project or programme based on risk.

Amelia Campbell-Kelly Associate Director, Risk Consulting

How we can help

By providing the right assurance and advice at the right time, our team can advise and support your organisation to mitigate the risk of programme or project failure and inform key stakeholders of chances of success using a sound, irrefutable evidence base.

We have several different adaptable and flexible assurance tools in place which can be tailored to wherever the programme or project is within its lifecycle, the complexity and risk profile of the programme or project, any additional governmental standards which need to be met and individual client needs.

Our tools use a mixture of programme and project management best practice benchmarking as well as additional public spending requirements where applicable. Through evidence collation and engagement with key programme or project contacts, the tools and subsequent recommendations will provide a view on chances of successful delivery and highlight any unknown risks based on the evidence collected. We also offer an advisory service for any aspect of programme and project delivery as well as general organisational portfolio, programme and project environment reviews.

Get in touch

Our service to the public and social sector is very tailored to each organisation, If you would like to discuss your needs with a member of our team, please click the button below:

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Independent Project Assurance in the Public and Social Sector
Independent Project Assurance in the Public and Social Sector