Assurance is an objective assessment of a project’s performance by the project board. It considers whether requirements are being delivered on and evaluates whether the benefits of a project are outweighing the cost. Built into every work-package we deliver, we ensure that your projects deliver the outcomes you expect.
It is important to utilise project assurance in order to maximise success based on a variety of project-related factors, including expenses and impending deadlines. As part of the Reed Global Group, we are uniquely positioned with both the security of a £1 billion family-owned parent organisation, whilst operating as an independent and lean SME able to quickly adapt to our clients’ needs.
In this blog, we’ve rounded up the main 3 reasons why project assurance is vital to success:
It facilitates a comprehensive definition of what project success looks like
According to PRINCE2.com, a leading provider of project management training and certifications, project assurance can be broken down into 3 main components:
- Business assurance: The measurement of the performance of a project and against the expected benefits the project will bring to an organisation. These are usually defined first in the business case before a project begins, with measurement being tracked against investment vs return on the project success.
User assurance: Objectives are created against the intended end-users usage. The project assurance ensures that the service or product is aligned to these objectives.
Specialist assurance: This considers things like software and technical requirements. This assurance is aligned to the more technical side of things. Is product or service being delivered being created with tools and platforms that are suitable and if need-be future-proofed for further iterations.
With these three arms of project assurance, you cover all the necessary basis when evaluating a project. Remember that it goes beyond simply highlighting important issues. It also identifies non-critical issues to avoid them being considered more important than they actually are, putting everything into perspective of the overall project outcomes.
It facilitates objectivity in measuring the success of a project
As previously mentioned, project assurance is typically carried out by a project board. This is an independent body with no direct involvement in the project itself, rather than an invested party like the project manager. The project board is made up of individuals who represent the three key components of assurance:
- The Executive: This person oversees the business assurance aspect.
- The Senior User: This individual takes responsibility for the user assurance component.
- The Senior Supplier: This is the person who handles project production, also known as specialist assurance.
The project board is made up of people who are removed from daily operations. This way, there is less likely to be bias in the reporting. This increases transparency between the team responsible for the project and the relevant stakeholders. This may not always be possible in smaller organisations, which is why Reed Professional Service’s project assurance services are seen as a valuable resource for those wishing to maintain independent oversight of their project delivery.
It fosters a commitment to shared responsibility within the organisation
When executive sponsors are not actively engaged, the result can be more widespread disengagement. This often goes hand-in-hand with poorly distributed responsibility, all of which cultivates a tendency to assign blame when project goals are not met.
Project assurance can transform this blame culture into one of responsibility and accountability. It encourages the project board and the team to maintain an open dialogue about progress, whether positive or negative. Project assurance works to eliminate scapegoating, uniting project teams and stakeholders as they work towards shared goals.
When you keep the importance of project assurance in your mind, you are better equipped to implement it when your next project begins. Establish a project board and assign specific roles with clearly defined goals and standards for evaluation.
Here at ReedPS, the concept of Critical Friend plays a vital role in project assurance and it’s defined by an individual or organisation that is trusted to speak difficult truths and see solutions that might otherwise be overlooked. Find out more about our project assurance services in our case study here.