Project audits can help identify when a project is about to go off-course. In addition, a project audit can provide the following benefits:
- Improve project performance.
- Increase customer and stakeholder satisfaction.
- Save costs.
- Control scope and avoid scope creep.
- Provide early problem diagnostics.
- Clarify performance/cost/schedule relationships.
- Identify future opportunities for improvement.
- Evaluate performance of the project team.
- Inform client of project status/prospects.
- Reconfirm feasibility of/commitment to project.
The benefits of project audits become especially evident in large organizations running large projects. Multi-million dollar projects can easily derail due to poor management techniques causing the investors millions of dollars. In this scenario, the cost of not performing periodic project audits can be much higher than the cost of performing it. Multiple audits, perhaps one per phase, are recommended for large projects.
Failure of a project can have a massive impact on an organisation's reputation and the confidence of its stakeholders. Understanding the dynamics of complex projects is a challenge to every audit team. This course gives a good introduction to projects and project risk for any auditor.
Who should attend?
This course is open to all and is intended for auditors who are less familiar with project auditing.
What will I learn?
Upon completion you will be able to:
- Understand the language of projects and programmes
- Review the roles and services that support programmes and projects
- Understand project decision making and different approaches to managing projects
- Evaluate the risks associated with projects and programmes
- Plan for project and programme audits using realistic engagement strategies
- Execute a variety of project audits at the beginning, middle and end stages of project and programmes.
The basics – managing successful projects and programmes
- The vocabulary of projects, key roles and key governance structures
- Project management methods ranging from the formal to the informal, from waterfall to agile
- Can all projects be executed using the same approach?
- Project diversity – different project management approaches depending on the nature of the project
- How projects and programmes put organisations at risk.
Auditing projects overall
- The auditor’s involvement in projects – driven by risk
- Allowing for the project team’s approach – formal or agile?
- A multi-audit requirement.
Project initiation – what can be reviewed?
- How projects are initiated
- Good and bad business cases: the tangible and intangible; costs and benefits
- Key targets, critical success factors and indicators
- Project plans: the slim and the detailed, what might be vital?
- Auditing project plans – what can i do look at?
- I only have limited resources – what could i look at?
- I have more time – what could i look at?
Teams and people – what can be reviewed?
- Risks associated with speed of working, amount of work and stress
- Risks related to communication and quality
- Auditing people factors – does culture and behaviour matter, do i comment?
Projects going adrift – what can be reviewed?
- Risk management within and between projects
- Better risk registers
- Dealing with expanding time and costs
- Dealing with change and quality management
- Plan reassessment and reappraisal
- Auditing mid-stage projects – are targets being met?
- Auditing mid-stage projects – what decisions are being made?
- Auditing mid-stage projects – why are these choices being made?
Projects: testing, rollout, and completion – what can be reviewed?
- Testing and acceptance – what is critical?
- Rollout what are the choices?
- Auditing end-stage projects – are we operationally ready?
- Auditing end-stage projects – are controls embedded in the structure?
- Auditing end-stage projects – can we deal with contingency?
Benefit and outcomes – what can be reviewed?
- Checking benefits and outcomes
- Deciding on project contributions
- Measuring success and failure
- Post project reviews and lessons extraction
- Auditing – post-implementation – did we achieve what we set out to do?