Understanding the Project Assurance Function: A Comprehensive Guide for Effective Project Execution

Understanding Project Assurance: Ensuring Effective Project Delivery

Project assurance is a critical aspect of project management, although it is often misunderstood. It appears intimidating in its bureaucratic nature but, in reality, it is an effective tool to ensure projects are executed professionally. With over two decades of project management experience, the key to making project assurance part of the job is understanding how it works and appreciating its critical role.

Defining Project Assurance

Simply put, project assurance is a continual system in place to certify that a project is conducted properly. Project assurance differs from quality assurance – whereas quality assurance practices help to ensure that a project can produce suitable results, the scope of project assurance is notably wider.

Roles and Responsibilities of Project Assurance

The responsibilities of project assurance can be subdivided into three primary roles:

1. Advice Provision: The project assurance team advises on aspects such as project team composition, implementation of project management techniques, compliance with internal policies, and tailoring project approach. They should review product descriptions, risk responses, and report any necessary changes to the steering group.

2. Independent Confirmation: The project assurance function serves as a confidence booster, providing the project board with the assurance that the project is compliant and feasible. They will review the project plan, proposed quality activities, and overall approach of the project at each stage, using benchmarking data, compliance policies and procedures, and lessons from other projects to inform their assessment.

3. Ensuring Efficient Project Delivery: Once the project is underway, the assurance function continues to assess and ensure the project operations align with the policies and indicates corrective actions when needed. If a project cannot meet its goals, this function may recommend the project to be closed.

Who Assures the Project?

Everyone in the project team is accountable for project assurance. In PRINCE2 environments, project board members are assigned specific areas of responsibility. The board is also responsible for establishing how assurance will be done, ensuring those with assurance-related tasks are clear about their roles and responsibilities, and determining how those with assurance responsibilities will work together. This role may be assigned to the Project Management Office (PMO) or other project managers for peer review.

When Does Assurance Take Place?

Project assurance mostly happens during project board meetings when project reports can be critically reviewed and project management challenged. It can also occur during the transition from one project lifecycle stage to another or when the project plan undergoes significant changes.

For comprehensive projects, a separate risk and assurance committee may enhance the project assurance process. However, for small-to-medium-sized projects, it is usually not necessary.

Assurance for Project Closure

Upon reaching a project’s end, the board may request the assurance function to conduct final checks to validate the project’s completeness. This may involve a peer review or the PMO reviewing the closure report to confirm it covers all crucial points.

Conclusion: The Importance of Project Assurance

Project assurance is a necessity for project governance and credibility. It provides an independent review of your project’s progression and helps determine whether it is being managed appropriately. In essence, project assurance values credibility, transparency, and responsibility in all project endeavors.

Enhancing Project Assurance with Qamodo

Qamodo’s project management tool incorporates several features designed to streamline project assurance. Our dedicated task systems and project methodologies, including Gantt and Kanban, provide the framework necessary for a project’s successful execution and compliance with project assurance standards.

In addition, our solutions for client relations enhance communication and collaboration with clients, ensuring their project goals are met while maintaining project assurance. Qamodo’s project management tool is trusted by industry professionals to deliver efficient project assurance, thereby paving the way for successful project outcomes.