Project assurance

This is a mechanism by which projects may be checked against a series of criteria to ascertain both the effectiveness of their management and their continued potential to deliver the intended benefit. Assurance does not automatically mean audit. Indeed, the use of the word "audit" can make people fearful which in turn may make it difficult to uncover problems and their causes. A range of assurance measures can be used to give an organisation greater confidence in managing projects. The purpose in all cases is to review the project (not the project manager) with the aim of increasing the likelihood of a successful result. The following are forms of project assurance:

e Project management health check. The project is reviewed (perhaps by invitation) by project management experts from elsewhere in the organisation, often drawing on the use of buddies. The outcome will be a report identifying areas of strength that could be promoted to other people and actions that need to be taken. There may or may not be a need for an external party to check progress following the report. e Project management internal audit. The project is reviewed formally, perhaps as a result of an alert or some evidence of a failing. It is likely that the audit will be conducted by someone who is impartial and competent to identify opportunities for improvement and propose solutions for the project management team to implement. Progress is tracked by the reviewer. e Project management external audit. This is similar to an internal audit but is conducted by an external party to specific terms of reference. As with any formal audit, there will be a requirement to attend to any areas of concern within a defined timetable, after which some sanctions may be applied.

Although an audit can sometimes be an uncomfortable experience, project assurance should be seen as a natural and supportive part of the discipline of project management because it seeks to improve processes, people and projects.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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