Program & Project Assurance

Value, performance and risk management considerations are inextricably linked. Proper understanding of these aspects - from the outset of planning for a new venture - is required to avoid delays in funding approvals and the cost of rework.

Full confidence in value, performance and risk information is essential for key decisions made by management, boards and external stakeholders.

Value Assurance is applied before the final investment decision (pre-FID) to identify strategies, drive new initiatives and to address economic and sustainability goals, along with defined levels of business and reputational risks tolerance. This topic is addressed through our sister company, VAR360 (Value Assurance & Resiliency 360): ( and our several related publications. 

Program / Project Assurance (PA) supports Value Assurance, after the final investment decision (post FID), for large scale and complex endeavors.

PA is an independent process for ensuring and demonstrating, to executive management and stakeholders, that all agreed business and socio-environmental goals will be accomplished, while adhering to organizational policies & procedures as well as approved value parameters. 

For simplicity, the term project assurance includes program assurance, as may be applicable.  The assurance process is conducted by an impartial person (or team) unencumbered by routine, daily mainstream project activities and reports directly to executive management of the Owner organization.

Project Assurance uses diagnostic appraisals and innovation interventions (if necessary) at designated stages:

  • Overarching and pro-active approach for ensuring and demonstrating to higher management that anticipated business returns are being obtained for programs and large or complex projects 
  • Offers a level of assurance / reliable confidence that a specified delivery capability exists (or will exist) 
  • Comprises an oversight and executive reporting process (based on strategic analysis, value / economic planning, performance evaluation, risk assessment/mitigation and monitoring).

Project Assurance provides objective oversight (and an early warning mechanism) of the likely future performance of programs and projects for persons responsible for sanctioning, financing, endorsing or insuring such undertakings. It is particularly well-suited for projects with a key financial decision point beyond which revisions become irrevocably expensive (in terms of direct cost and/or delays or penalties). PA focuses on compliance with approved budget & schedule, stakeholder acceptance and operational readiness. It guides the risk management process risks associated with change and transition.

Project Assurance pre-empts delays and over-expenditure through:

  • Identifying weaknesses and non-performance
  • Assessing readiness to proceed to the next stage
  • Validating potential to meet agreed targets
  • Recommending timely remedial actions.

Project Assurance provides transparency through:

  • Measuring achievement of business case and strategy
  • Demonstrating measurable increased value brought to the organization
  • assessing change integration and organization acceptance.
Feedback, through lessons learned and data gathering is provided to the corporate knowledge bank.
Project Assurance ensures that portfolios programs and projects will start and remain viable re. 
     ► Business aims (benefits, return-on-investment, scope and costs)
     ► Defined owner/ developer risk exposure limits
     ► User requirements (e.g. availability, serviceability, operability, reliability and compliance capabilities, etc.)
     ► Technical merit (overall feasibility and fitness-for-purpose)
     ► Supply chain capabilities and compatibilities
     ► Likelihood of meeting forecast targets
     ► In-service effectiveness & financial efficiencies.
Critical problems of budget and schedule overruns are resolved using our structure PCO-360  (Performance and Cost Optimization) method. See previous web page.

Program / Project Assurance (PA) provides objective oversight of the likely future performance of programs and projects  for those responsible for sanctioning, financing, endorsing or insuring such undertakings.  It is particularly well-suited for projects with a key financial decision point beyond which revisions become exceptionally expensive.
Mega-Project Assurance  is specific to Portfolios, Program, and/or projects that exceed $1 Billion in estimated investment value.  Various sources quote: The core concepts of Mega Project Assurance: risk is governable, leadership is accountable, cost must be properly managed and is recoverable, efficiency is attainable, fraud and waste are nearly preventable, and failure is unacceptable.”​​​​​​​

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