4.1 Delivering the programme:

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Delivering major projects is complex and we often don’t get it right. Cost escalation and delay are common issues. The National Audit Office recently noted that major projects often encounter problems in their early stages, running over time and over budget before plans have been properly tested. Whilst there will always be uncertainties and forecasting errors, programme and project delivery can be dramatically improved using robust assurance and approvals processes alongside enhanced programme and project management capabilities.

To help meet this need, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has produced a Routemap providing decision-making support during project initiation. This guidance is based on experience from the delivery of Major Projects. The Routemap helps project sponsors and those responsible for project delivery to properly assess the complexity of the project and put in place the necessary capabilities to help deliver a more successful outcome.

In this part of the Guidance Tool we consider programme and project assurance and delivery.

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Key takeaways

Key takeaways with regard to programme and project assurance include:

  • Assurance frameworks set out the roles and responsibilities for transparent decision-making.
  • A key component of the assurance process is the conduct of reviews, whether on specific elements or on the entirety of a programme or project.
  • The standard assurance process consists of Gateway Reviews which take place as project definition progresses – a series of short, focused, independent peer reviews at six key stages of a programme or project.

Key takeaways with regard to programme and project delivery include:

  • Efficient programme and project management is vital to ensure policies are delivered to plan.
  • Crucial aspects to programme and project delivery include clearly defining delivery requirements, identifying and managing main project risks, a defined process for decision-making, change management and reporting, a strong execution strategy, evolving an organisational design over the project lifecycle, procurement process and asset management.
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4.2 Assurance and approvals