This review is applied at the start up of a programme, is repeated at appropriate key decision points during the programme, and is applied at the end of the programme.
The programme start up process draws together the justification for the programme based on the policy or organisational objectives that are to be secured. An analysis of the stakeholders whose co-operation is needed to achieve the objectives, and an initial assessment of the programme's likely costs and potential for success.
This comes after the broad strategy for change has been set, before a public commitment is made and before any further development proposal goes before the Programme Board, Scottish Government authority or similar group for authority to proceed. It focuses on the programme justification.
Typically a review will take place following the production of the Programme Brief, which contains an outline description of the programme's objectives, desired benefits, risks, costs and timeframe.
However, the management of the organisation may consider it appropriate to conduct an earlier GR0, or an internal checkpoint, following the issue of the Programme Mandate; this is a trigger for identifying a programme, and defines the overall objectives for the programme in line with the policy or organisational objectives. The issue of the Programme Mandate may be the outcome of a workshop held by the organisation to consider delivery of policy.
This provides assurance to the Programme Board that the scope and purpose of the programme has been adequately researched, that there is a shared understanding of what is to be achieved by the key stakeholders, that it fits within the organisation's overall policy or management strategy & priorities; that there is a realistic possibility of securing the resources needed for delivery and that any procurement takes account of prevailing government polices e.g. sustainability.
The Review will examine how the work strands will be organised (in sub programmes, projects etc) to deliver the overall programme objectives, and that the programme management structure, monitoring and resourcing is appropriate. In short, the first review aims to test whether stakeholders' expectations of the programme are realistic, by reference to costs, outcomes, resource needs, timetable and general achievability.
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Subsequent reviews revisit the same questions to confirm that the key stakeholders have a common understanding of desired outcomes and that the programme is likely to achieve them. To be repeated at appropriate key decision points during the progrmme such as:
- at a scheduled milestone, such as the completion of a set of projects in the programme portofolio
- when there is a significant change to the desired outcomes
- when the way outcomes are delivered must change (perhaps as a result of government changes) or when it becomes apparent that the programme will not provide the necessary outcomes and needs to be reshaped
- when the programme's sponsors have concerns about the programme's effectiveness
- when there is a change in Senior Responsible Owner for the programme
- to learn lessons to transfer to other programmes when a substantial amount of successful delivery has taken place
Repeated reviews will be particularly concerned with establishing the continued validity of the Business Case for the programme, and with ensuring that the outcomes and desired benefits of the programme are on track.
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This will take place at the conclusion of the programme, to asssess the overall success of the programme and the extent to which the desired outcomes and benefits have been achieved, and to check that the lessons learned have been analysed and promulgated.
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