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Using Reviews and Assurance to Manage Portfolio and Programme Risk

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Projects are risky activities. We take on a managed level of risk in order to achieve defined rewards. It's therefore not surprising that some projects fail — completely eliminating failure would be a sign that we're being too risk averse. Problems arise when the level of failure across our program or portfolio is not commensurate with the desired risk/reward profile.

Project reviews and assurance can be a very useful tool to help monitor risk levels across our portfolio, and hence to identify and mitigate the risks which are not being managed effectively. This talk looks at some factors you should consider when setting up an assurance programme.

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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Using Reviews and Assurance to Manage Portfolio and Programme Risk

  1. 1. Using Reviews and Assurance To Manage Programme and Portfolio Risk Graham Oakes (graham@grahamoakes.co.uk) December 2013
  2. 2. Outline • Projects fail • That’s OK • Portfolio mgt is easier than project mgt… • … provided you can get the right information • Setting up an assurance programme
  3. 3. Why do projects fail? Simon Schoeters
  4. 4. We lose touch with reality Christiaan Triebert
  5. 5. Failure becomes obvious when we run back into reality Simon Schoeters
  6. 6. Failure is OK! L Gnome
  7. 7. There are 2 types of failure: Inherent & Unnecessary macrophile
  8. 8. Statistics don’t work for project managers Steve A Johnson
  9. 9. Statistics do work for portfolio & programme managers James Bowe
  10. 10. Portfolio & programme managers have more tools veryuseful
  11. 11. But they often don’t have the information they need Jeroen_bennink
  12. 12. The role of assurance is to provide validated information owenwbrown
  13. 13. How do we set up an effective programme of reviews? Colin_K
  14. 14. 1) Make reviews the norm Lars P.
  15. 15. 2) Be clear who you’re serving Bird Brian
  16. 16. 3) Tune investment to risk levels digitalmoneyworld
  17. 17. 4) Use a mix of review types vie_ascenseur
  18. 18. 5) Negotiate clear objectives for each review Richard_of_England
  19. 19. Control parameters Baseline Criteria Reference Models Feedback to improve reference models Review execution Inputs Outputs Artefacts & other items to review, plus supporting details. Analysis Loop Go / No -go decision. Improved artefacts. 6) Run a structured process Recommendations to improve review artefacts Simon Schoeters
  20. 20. 7) Focus on evidence Simon Schoeters
  21. 21. 8) Manage logistics strudelt
  22. 22. 9) Minimise overheads jcroninone
  23. 23. 10) Train people One Laptop per Child
  24. 24. 11) Act on findings mikebaird
  25. 25. 12) Monitor effectiveness SearchEnginePeopleBlog
  26. 26. 13) Disseminate lessons learned The U.S. Army
  27. 27. Assurance supports stakeholder communications Keoni Cabral
  28. 28. Summary • We engage with risks to achieve rewards • Sometimes the risks win • Aim is to eliminate unnecessary failure • Program & portfolio mgrs have a lot of tools • They need information in order to use them • Reviews & assurance provide this information (provided they’re set up appropriately)
  29. 29. Unnecessary Failure… … happens when people with the skills, resources and authority to act effectively don’t get full, validated information about project status and issues. The role of reviews and assurance is to provide this information.
  30. 30. Thank You graham@grahamoakes.co.uk @GrahamDOakes 35

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