Assurance Advisory Services

Providing impartial, independent programme assurance services to ensure our clients’ critical programmes meet the desired outcomes

ImprovIT’s approach to assurance is designed to provide stakeholders with confidence that IT programmes and major projects will deliver the expected benefits on time and on budget.

All programmes are composed of four basic areas: Governance, Management, People and Processes. Our methodology builds on each of these four areas and identifies a number of critical components within each area. Ensuring the right levels of competence and capability are appropriately deployed in each component area is a central part of our approach.

Governance
Management
People
Processes

Programme Governance

Scope Clarity

Skills & Capabilities

Planning & Monitoring

Project Governance

Programme Office/ Control Structure

Values

Transition Control

Stakeholder Engagement

Risk Management

Training

Benefits Realisation

Business Case

Change Management

Role Clarity

Documentation

Communications

Contingency Planning

Tool Usage

Compliance

Accountability

Sourcing/ Vendor Management

Sourcing

Cost Management

ImprovIT’s Assurance Framework

We focus on minimising risk and our methodology has a detailed maturity model for each of the components within each critical area. We use these models to identify areas of potential weakness or concern, and we provide continuing insight and guidance through the life of the programme. 

Throughout, we aim to adopt the role of “critical friend”, an approach underpinned by our robust methodology and delivered by experienced practitioners. This allows us to accurately assess programme health, identify risks and provide expert advice in an impartial way. At all times we strive to offer precise guidance in a clear and concise manner. Our approach is tried and tested, and we have a proven track record of delivering assurance to complex programmes delivered on budget and to schedule.

Case Study: Major Service Transition

The Requirement:

A large healthcare organisation in the UK decided to move from its then current IT service provider to a new supplier. This change involved the transfer of all infrastructure services across the entire medical campus and the upgrading of several key hardware and software components. Our initial involvement was to assist in the evaluation of proposals from prospective new suppliers (delivered through our Performance Advisory Services), and we were subsequently retained to provide programme oversight and assurance services for the life of the transition programme. This comprised of a complex set of interrelated projects involving critical healthcare systems, stakeholders from across the medical campus, new and existing suppliers and a two year timeframe. 

The Approach:

The engagement commenced with us working with the client to define the expected outcomes of the programme. Inputs to this phase included the initial business plan plus stakeholder interviews with both board members and key users. Increasing value was the primary objective and this was to be realised through improved costs, increased agility and higher levels of satisfaction among end users, both clinical and administrative.

An initial review of programme governance was then performed to determine the appropriateness of the overall governance, programme management, risk management and reporting arrangements. Our findings resulted in some early stage changes in programme / project organisational structure to minimise identified risks and address some skill gaps.

In our role of “critical friend” we continued to work closely with all suppliers and our client’s programme team to ensure we maintained a current understanding of all aspects of the programme and its progress. Advisory notes were issued where needed and regular reports and assessments provided. Periodic “deep dive” assessments were also undertaken in advance of key project milestones to evaluate risks and recommend mitigation activities if required.

During the mid and latter phases of the programme the areas of change management and risk management were modified to close perceived gaps and remove potential issues with the incoming service provider. Substantial input was also provided in the area of supplier management, with specific regard to improving the effectiveness of the commercial management function. In the final phases a detailed “lessons learned” analysis was performed to provide the executive and future project teams with insights that have the potential to increase the effectiveness of future programmes.

The Outcome:

The programme completed on the precise date predicted by the initial project plan and was under budget in all areas. Initial benefits were realised as projected, and there is a continuing stream of work being undertaken by the client to ensure the further downstream benefits are realised as expected and in a timely manner.

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