Welcome to the Spring edition of the APM Assurance SIG newsletter 2019
Welcome to the spring 2019 edition of the APM Assurance SIG newsletter
- Chair’s introduction
- Feedback survey
- Outreach activities
- Workstream progress
1. Chair’s introduction
Welcome to the second issue of our new quarterly newsletter.
In this edition, we tell you about some recent outreach activity we’ve undertaken to spread the word about the value of assurance, update you on progress on some of our workstreams, and again invite you to provide us with feedback on the APM Assurance SIG’s activities.
We are making progress on a number of fronts, but highlight here the Project Auditing, Measures for Assuring Projects, and Integrated Assurance workstreams, as of key interest currently.
We have a strong committee, and an active group of non-committee volunteers, but we are always looking for more. In particular, there are currently three opportunities:
- new lead for the Project Auditing workstream;
- new participants in both the Project Auditing and Integrated Assurance workstreams;
- new users of the Measures for Assuring Projects Toolkit to join the growing user network group.
2. Feedback survey
Thanks to those of you who provided feedback in our survey following issue of the first of these newsletters, in January.
It’s not too late to provide feedback. We’d be very interested in hearing from many more of you.
Here’s that link to the survey again.
3. Outreach activities
The SIG’s business plan includes a commitment to try to bring awareness of project assurance to a more diverse audience. As part of this, over the last few months, our SIG's committee members Dave Lovitt and Roy Millard have made a series of presentations at APM branch events in London, the Midlands, and Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
The presentations were designed to entertain and appeal to people with a wide range of experience and knowledge, and were structured around questions that they might have about various aspects of project assurance. In each case there was a good deal of discussion and strong engagement from the audience with a lot of positive feedback from attendees, whilst also reflecting the wide range of experience and expectations of the audience. Many thanks to all those who helped make these events possible.
We have no immediate plans for further presentations but are always looking for opportunities to promote the work of the SIG. If you know of any groups that might welcome something of the sort, or if you have experience of project assurance that you would be willing to share, we would love to hear from you.
4. Workstream progress
As we reported in the January newsletter, we are considering whether we should develop separate guidance for auditing programmes and portfolios, and whether this should be standalone, an extension of the existing A Guide to Project Auditing, or lead to an updated version of the existing guide.
We have had some discussions with the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), with a view to them adopting our guide as IIA guidance to their members. The next step in our collaboration with the IIA is to explore the possibility of joint activities (e.g. events) with local IIA branches.
We are also still hoping to establish a users group for the A Guide to Project Auditing, to share their experiences.
This workstream is currently without a leader. If you would be interested in leading this work (or maybe just contributing to it), then please let us know.
Experience and awareness of the MfAP continues to grow. Since 2016 when the download of the MfAP was first made available, there have been nearly 1,500 downloads. A user group call was held on Wednesday 6 March, and a follow up scheduled for Wednesday 29 May, when one of the user group members has volunteered to share their use of the MfAP toolkit and have a peer assist. Please contact Tim Podesta if you would like to be involved in the MfAP user group.
In parallel, a proposal has been developed to look at a refresh of the MfAP. A preliminary assessment by Andrew Elliot and Tim Podesta, members of the original development team, concluded that there were a couple of areas the MfAP that could be enhanced. A call for participants in the refresh will be launched when the proposal has been endorsed by the SIG committee during this summer.
Finally, we held the Measures for Assurance - Introduction and user group experience webinar on Monday 29 April on MfAP, to raise awareness and share experience; this was delivered by Tim Podesta and Matt Bruce-Kingsmill.
A Guide to Integrated Assurance
The committee has now approved an initial project brief for a refresh of the 2014 A Guide to Integrated Assurance, with new membership, with a view to refreshing it. This work will be led by our SIG Chair, Roy Millard.
Emphasis will be placed on:
- overcoming barriers to integrated assurance;
- relationship to progressive assurance.
We are very keen to supplement those of the original team that developed this guide with people who have since had real-life, practical, experience of trying to make ‘integrated assurance’ work in their organisations, whether successful or not, using our guide or not. Please let us know if you’d like to be involved in this ‘refresh’ workstream.
Business Case for Assurance (aka ‘The Value of Assurance’)
Following discussion on how to best undertake research, and the planned workshop held Tuesday 8 January, we are now pursuing a number of avenues to ascertain appetite in the project management world for a better understanding of the value of assurance.
Anecdotally, the committee has no doubt that an appetite for this research does exist, but we need to crystallise that into something firmer. In short, we need to develop a ‘business case for building the basis of a business case for assurance’. (Sorry if you had to read that more than once!)
APM Assurance SIG Chair