The Value of Assurance webinar

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In the past, the focus of discussion around assurance in projects has been about ensuring that everything that needs to be covered is covered, but without inefficient duplication. This webinar was held on Tuesday 28 April 2020.

The existence of assurance as being a necessity has been a given, although turf wars, and arguments about when and how it should be done, have been common. More recently, though debate has developed about knowing whether there is enough, or too much assurance; what level of guarantee of project success does assurance bring; and how can we get the best value out of assurance? These questions are difficult to answer.

This talk broke the topic down into elements to make it easier to address; proposed a way of better understanding relationships between assurance and project success; and looked at future trends in assurance that will impact on its value.

This webinar content is suitable for professionals with any level of experience.

Roy Millard, APM Assurance SIG Chair

Until November 2017, Roy Millard was responsible for the planning and delivery of all internal audits of Transport for London’s Investment Programme, covering project and programme management, procurement and contract management, and for a period health, safety & environment. Prior to that, Roy worked as an electronic engineer and project manager on many communications systems projects of values ranging to £1bn+. He now works as an independent consultant (trading as P3 Risk and Assurance) providing advice and support on matters of governance, risk and assurance in project organisations.

Roy has an Honours degree and a post-graduate Diploma in Management Studies; is a Fellow of the APM and a full member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology; was until recently an APM Trustee; and is the founder and APM Assurance Specific Interest Group Chair.

Webinar resources

Roy has very kindly allowed his presented material to be made available for viewing. The slides on Slideshare are and the webinar recording on YouTube are now available, and are also embedded below.

Questions raised during the recording have been reviewed and are now published with the speaker responses.


Write up and analysis of attendee responses by the speaker Roy Millard, June 2020

I enjoyed giving my talk on 'The Value of Assurance' in the APM Webinar on Tuesday 28 April.

From the feedback, it would seem that at least some of the 412 people who tuned in enjoyed it!

We had a good geographical spread of attendance. Unsurprisingly dominated by the UK, but 7% outside the UK, in Europe, Africa and Asia.
And a good range of project professionals (not just assurance practitioners).

One piece of feedback that I feel I must highlight is: "Excellent! Thank you!! Who'd have thought I could get excited about assurance?!!".

I rest my case about how interesting Assurance can be!

Two questions I touched on I my talk were: who 'owns' Assurance? and why doesn't the topic of Assurance have a higher profile?

For a subject that few, if any, would say is not important in project delivery, particularly in the light of recent high profile projects within which Assurance has clearly been lacking, why is it not talked about more? Why is it not seen as a key component of project management in organisations and the profession generally?

I asked delegates two questions about how Assurance works in their organisations.

Firstly, I asked who made decisions around project assurance…

and secondly I asked who held the budget for it…

There is some correlation between the two. However, there are some marked differences. The most obvious of these is that although in around 25% of organisations Heads of PMO make the decisions, only around 16% hold the budget. That suggests that at best only 40% of the Heads of PMO who made decisions held the budgets.

Is this separation of decision-making and budget-holding one reason for a low profile for Assurance?

The APM Assurance SIG has started a consultation with selected APM Corporate Partners to explore these questions further. If you and/or your organisation would like to be involved in this, please contact me via the APM Hub.

Roy Millard
APM Assurance SIG Chair

  #apmassurance   #apmwebinar

APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition reference

Section Description
2.2 Assurance, learning and maturity


Posted on 22nd Apr 2020
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