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OGC Gateway™ Process

Review 0: Strategic assessment

OGC Best Practice - Gateway to success


Introduction to the OGC Gateway™ Process

Why getting programmes and projects right matters

The OGC Gateway™ Process

Value of the OGC Gateway™ Process

Programme or project?

OGC Gateway™ Reviews as part of the assurance framework

Role of the Senior Responsible Owner

Tailoring the OGC Gateway™ Review

The wider context of the OGC Gateway™ Process

OGC Gateway™ Review 0: Overview

About this workbook

The wider context of programme delivery

Types of programme

Purposes of the OGC Gateway™ Review 0

Tailoring the OGC Gateway™ Review 0

Strategic assessment: When to repeat OGC Gateway™ Review 0

1: Policy and business context

2: Business Case and stakeholders

3: Management of intended outcomes

4: Risk management

5: Review of current outcomes

6: Readiness for next phase: Delivery of outcomes

Programme documents

Supporting guidance

Further information

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Introduction to the OGC Gateway™ Process
Why getting programmes and projects right matters

Programmes and projects provide an important vehicle for the efficient and timely delivery of government aims. Procurement expenditure through programmes and projects is therefore a significant, and increasing, proportion of total government expenditure. Good and effective management and control of programmes and projects is therefore essential to the successful delivery of government objectives. The OGC Gateway™ Process is designed to provide independent guidance to Senior Responsible Owners (SRO), programme and project teams and to the departments who commission their work, on how best to ensure that their programmes and projects are successful.

The OGC Gateway™ Process

The OGC Gateway Process examines programmes and projects at key decision points in their lifecycle. It looks ahead to provide assurance that they can progress successfully to the next stage; the Process is best practice in central civil government, the health sector, local government and Defence. OGC Gateway Reviews are applicable to a wide range of programmes and projects, including:

  • policy development and implementation

  • organisational change and other change initiatives

  • acquisition programmes and projects

  • property/construction developments

  • IT-enabled business change

  • procurements using or establishing framework arrangements

The principles and process in this workbook can also be applied to management of other areas of expenditure in the organisation. The Process is mandatory for procurement, IT-enabled, and construction programmes and projects.

Value of the OGC Gateway™ Process

OGC Gateway Reviews deliver a ‘peer review’, in which independent practitioners from outside the programme/project use their experience and expertise to examine the progress and likelihood of successful delivery of the programme or project. They are used to provide a valuable additional perspective on the issues facing the internal team, and an external challenge to the robustness of plans and processes.
The OGC Gateway Process provides support to SROs in the discharge of their responsibilities to achieve their business aims, by helping the SRO to ensure:

  • the best available skills and experience are deployed on the programme or project

  • all the stakeholders covered by the programme/project fully understand the programme/project status and the issues involved

  • there is assurance that the programme/project can progress to the next stage of development or implementation and that any procurement is well managed in order to provide value for money on a whole life basis

  • achievement of more realistic time and cost targets for programmes and projects

  • improvement of knowledge and skills among government staff through participation in Reviews

  • provision of advice and guidance to programme and project teams by fellow practitioners.

The effectiveness of the OGC Gateway Process has recently been endoresed in 2007 Treasury report on ‘Transforming Government Procurement’.

Programme or project?

Programmes are about managing change, with a strategic vision and a routemap of how to get there; they are able to deal with uncertainty about achieving the desired outcomes.
A programme approach should be flexible and capable of accommodating changing circumstances such as opportunities or risks materialising. It co-ordinates delivery of the range of work – including projects – needed to achieve outcomes, and benefits, throughout the life of the programme.
A project has definite start and finish dates, a clearly defined output, a well defined development path, and a defined set of financial and other resources allocated to it; benefits are achieved after the project has finished, and the project plans should include activities to plan, measure and assess the benefits achieved by the project.
Programme Reviews are carried out under OGC Gateway™ Review 0: Strategic assessment. A programme will generally undergo three or more OGC Gateway Reviews 0: an early Review; one or more Reviews at key decision points during the course of the programme, and a final Review at the conclusion of the programme.
Project Reviews are carried out under OGC Gateway Reviews 1-5; typically a project will undergo all five of these Reviews during its lifecycle – three before commitment to invest, and two looking at service implementation and confirmation of the operational benefits. Project Reviews may be repeated as necessary depending on the size, scope and complexity of the project. A Review of a project must take into account the programme context within which the project is located, and possible inter-dependencies with other projects in the programme. The review will also indicate how far procurements are in alignment with strategic and policy objectives.
Each of these Reviews is described in the appropriate OGC Gateway™ Review Workbook.

OGC Gateway™ Reviews as part of the assurance framework

Every public sector body will have its own structures and resources for carrying out internal reviews, healthchecks and audits of its activities, including programmes and projects. The OGC Gateway Process provides a snapshot view of progress, at a point in time and, therefore, should be seen as complementary to these internal processes, and not a replacement for them.
Organisations should have in place an effective framework to provide a suitable level of assurance for their portfolio of programmes and projects. This requires management to map their assurance needs and identify the potential sources for providing them. Public sector bodies are encouraged to ensure adequate and timely coordination and sharing of information, including plans, between the various internal review functions.
In addition, SROs should be aware of the extent and limitations of the various review processes – for example, the fact that an OGC Gateway Review has taken place does not replace the need for a full audit opinion on the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance in the audited area.
Further, none of these review processes is a substitute for a rigorous governance framework in the organisation to manage key processes including business planning, investment appraisal and business case management (including benefits management), programme and project portfolio management, risk management, procurement/acquisition, and service and contract management.
The Transforming Government Procurement report recommends the creation of a major projects review group to ensure that the most important and complex projects in central civil government are subject to effective scrutiny at key stages. For these types of projects a stronger assessment of deliverability is needed at early stages, with stronger support to deal with any concerns those assessments raise.

Role of the Senior Responsible Owner

An OGC Gateway Review is conducted on a confidential basis for the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO), who has prime responsibility for initiating the Review. The ownership of the Review Report rests with the SRO, who is accountable for the implementation of the recommended remedial action and the programme/project progression.
The SRO is the individual responsible for ensuring that a programme of change or a project meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits. The SRO should be the owner of the overall business change that is being supported by the project and ensure that the change maintains its business focus, has clear authority and that the context, including risks, is actively managed. This individual must be senior and must take personal responsibility for successfully delivery of the project. They should be recognised as the owner throughout the organisation.

Tailoring the OGC Gateway™ Review

The workbooks published by OGC provide guidance on the structure of each OGC Gateway Review, and the areas of investigation to be addressed by the Review Team, together with examples of the evidence which would demonstrate to the Review Team the satisfactory nature of responses to the various topics. These topics and the examples of evidence should be regarded as indicative and not prescriptive; within the overall objectives of each review stage. The Review Team should consider whether additional or different topics need to be addressed, and the evidence to be sought. Approaches may vary according to the context of the programme or project – for example, IT-enabled business change, property/construction, or policy development/implementation.

The wider context of the OGC Gateway™ Process

OGC Gateway™ Review 0: Overview

About this workbook

This workbook supports OGC Gateway Review 0: Strategic assessment; this is a programme-only review that sets the programme in the wider policy or corporate context. This Review investigates the direction and planned outcomes of the programme, together with the progress of its constituent projects. It can be applied to any type of programme, including policy and organisational change. The Review is repeated throughout the life of the programme from start-up to closure; an early OGC Gateway Review 0 is particularly valuable as it helps to confirm that the way forward is achievable, before plans have been finalised.

The wider context of programme delivery

Programmes are delivered in the wider context of carrying forward policy and strategic objectives and improving organisational performance, as shown in the previous figure. For convenience, the relationships are shown in simplified form; in reality they are likely to be much more complex.
Policy-making is defined as “the process by which governments translate their political vision into programmes and actions to deliver ‘outcomes’ – desired changes in the real world.” Once a way forward for delivery is identified, major policies (often published in the form of a White Paper) and organisational change programmes are often implemented as a programme. At the time policies – or change programmes – are announced, the means by which some aspects of them need to be implemented is clear, while other aspects need considerable policy development. Programme structures provide a means of managing progress at different rates while ensuring coherence and keeping the focus on the overall outcomes. The programme’s potential to succeed is checked as it is established, using an OGC Gateway Review 0. The Review can be repeated whenever appropriate key decision points are reached or whenever the programme’s usefulness or viability comes into doubt.
The programme will contain a number of linked sub-programmes, projects and other pieces of work. These are delivered in a co-ordinated sequence that will achieve the programme outcomes with the optimum balance of cost, benefit and risk. The programme’s projects are reviewed at key decision points from start-up through to the point where they have contributed the benefits set out in the project’s Business Case. Feedback from this final project Review informs the ongoing programme Reviews.
The programme will be managed as part of a corporate portfolio of organisational programmes, which may be competing for resources and may have changing priorities. Programme managers should be aware of any interdependencies between their programme and other programmes in the organisation’s portfolio and, where relevant, those in other organisations. In central civil government the organisation’s portfolio is kept under review by the senior management team who resolve any major priority or resource issues.

Types of programme

Different types of change may be delivered by the programme:

  • making and delivering new facilities – typically, led by specification of the outputs required; clear view of what is required and scope well defined.

  • changing the way the organisation works – led by a vision of the outcomes and benefits; typically some uncertainty about the change, but clear delivery approaches that can be used to achieve the vision.

  • policy change focused on changes and improvements in society, driven by desired outcome but likely to be very ambiguous and complex to define in terms of what it will involve. The scope may need to be revisited as uncertainty is resolved.

  • if a project is very large and/or complex, it is broken down into a series of related projects and managed as a programme.

Purposes of the OGC Gateway™ Review 0

  • Review the outcomes and objectives for the programme (and the way they fit together) and confirm that they make the necessary contribution to the overall strategy of the organisation and its senior management.

  • Ensure that the programme is supported by key stakeholders.

  • Confirm that the programme’s potential to succeed has been considered in the wider context of government policy and procurement objectives, the organisation’s delivery plans and change programmes, and any interdependencies with other programmes or projects in the organisation’s portfolio and, where relevant, those of other organisations.

  • Review the arrangements for leading, managing and monitoring the programme as a whole and the links to individual parts of it (e.g. to any existing projects in the programme’s portfolio).

  • Review the arrangements for identifying and managing the main programme risks (and the individual project risks), including external risks such as changing business priorities.

  • Check that provision for financial and other resources has been made for the programme (initially identified at programme initiation and committed later) and that plans for the work to be done through to the next stage are realistic, properly resourced with sufficient people of appropriate experience, and authorised.

  • After the initial Review, check progress against plans and the expected achievement of outcomes.

  • Check that there is engagement with the market as appropriate on the feasibility of achieving the required outcome.

  • Where relevant, check that the programme takes account of joining up with other programmes, internal and external.

Tailoring the OGC Gateway™ Review 0

    The same set of questions is used for every OGC Gateway Review 0, but their focus is adjusted depending on the nature of the programme and the stage in its lifecycle. For example, the governance arrangements and stakeholder involvement may be the most difficult aspect of a cross-cutting programme; in contrast, the smooth management of transition to new ways of working may require the most attention where there is complex change. At the start of the programme the strategic priorities should be clear and the main focus will be on realism about what can be achieved. At subsequent stages managing the impact of change, risks and resources will become more important, and there may be the additional complexity of changing policy priorities. At programme closure, evaluating outcomes, the final review of the achievement of outcomes and identifying the lessons learned for future programmes will be the main features of the Review. The SRO and Review Team should agree the particular focus of each Review when the Review is planned.

Strategic assessment: When to repeat OGC Gateway™ Review 0

OGC Gateway Review 0 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.
First OGC Gateway™ Review 0

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. The first OGC Gateway Review 0 comes after the broad strategy for change has been set before a public commitment is made and before a development proposal is put before a Programme Board, executive authority or similar group for authority to proceed. It focuses on the justification for the programme.

Typically an OGC Gateway Review 0 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 OGC Gateway Review 0, or an internal checkpoint, following the issue of the Programme Mandate; this is the 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.
The first OGC Gateway Review 0 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 and priorities; that there is a realistic possibility of securing the resources needed for delivery and that any procurement takes account of prevailing government policies e.g. sustainability. The Review will, in addition, 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 OGC Gateway Review 0 aims to test whether stakeholders’ expectations of the programme are realistic, by reference to costs, risks, outcomes, resource needs, timetable and general achievability.
Mid-Stage OGC Gateway™ Review 0

Subsequent OGC Gateway Reviews 0 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. The OGC Gateway Review 0 will be repeated at appropriate key decision points during the programme, such as:

  • at scheduled milestones such as the completion of a set of projects in the programme portfolio

  • 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 OGC Gateway Reviews 0 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.

Final OGC Gateway™ Review 0

Finally, an OGC Gateway Review 0 will take place at the conclusion of the programme, to assess 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.

1: Policy and business context

How to use this section for:

First OGC Gateway™ Review 0

If this is very early in the programme lifecycle, information may be uncertain because options are being explored for the way forward. There must be demonstrable linkage to the business strategy – why is this programme needed? The governance framework will be in outline, but there should already be a clear owner for the programme. Capability to deliver will be considered at a high level, ideally supported by indicative estimates based on evidence from similar initiatives. There should be mechanisms in place to learn lessons regardless of the stage in the programme lifecycle. High-level risks should have been identified even at a very early stage
At programme initiation all areas in this section will need thorough investigation, as they provide the foundation for successful delivery

Mid-stage OGC Gateway™ Review 0

The focus on each area in this section is whether assumptions or circumstances have changed – e.g. a change in policy direction; continued availability of skilled resources

Final OGC Gateway™ Review 0

The critical area at this final stage is to confirm that the linkage to business strategy is still robust and supported by senior management, e.g. ministers or the management board

Areas to probe

Evidence expected

1.1 Is the business strategy to which this programme contributes agreed with the programme’s sponsoring group (e.g. Ministers or the organisation’s management board) and robust?

  • A clear direction set out in the business strategy, which is owned by key stakeholders and informs all investment in public service reform or organisational change

1.2 Does the programme reflect the current policy and organisational environment and does the scope of the programme fit with the strategy?

  • Documented evidence that the sponsoring group (e.g. Ministers or the Board) have agreed the scope of the programme and its alignment with policy objectives, organisational strategy and/or change priorities

  • Where there are significant changes in policy priorities, in stakeholders’ views, or the key objectives, evidence that there has been a re-appraisal of the programme

1.3 Is the governance framework fit for purpose and in particular is there commitment to key roles and responsibilities for this programme within current corporate priorities?

  • Evidence of commitment from the sponsoring group (e.g. top management, key partners and Ministers), a willingness to take ownership, and a clear understanding of their roles in achieving successful outcomes

  • Key roles have been identified and assigned, (e.g. responsible Minister, SRO, Programme Director, Programme Manager, Business Change Manager or equivalent role) and strand/sub-programme managers with named individuals with responsibility for the transition to new ways of working

  • For cross-cutting programmes, evidence that all parties involved know how they are engaging in the programme and are committed to its delivery; clear governance arrangements to ensure sustainable alignment with the business objectives of all organisations involved

1.4 Are the required skills and capabilities for this programme available, taking account of the organisation’s current commitments and capacity to deliver?

  • Evidence that the organisation has brought together (or has credible plans for bringing together) the skills and capabilities it needs to plan and achieve the desired outcomes, and has access to external sources of expertise where necessary

  • Evidence that it is realistic about the complexity of the changes and how they can be managed (learning from previous/other programmes where that is appropriate)

  • Key roles within the programme identified with named individuals

  • Key individuals have an appropriate track record of successful delivery

  • Where appropriate, the programme has access to expertise which can benefit those fulfilling the requisite roles

  • Evidence of appropriate allocation of key programme/project roles between internal staff and consultants or contractors

1.5 Is the organisation able to learn from experience with this programme and other programmes?

  • Evidence that the organisation has processes in place to incorporate lessons learned from this programme, and its components, into wider best practice

  • Evidence that the organisation learns from the experiences of others

1.6 Is there a framework for managing issues and risk to this programme?

  • Defined roles, responsibilities and processes for managing issues and risk across the programme, with clearly defined routes for bringing issues and risks to the attention of senior management

2: Business Case and stakeholders

How to use this section for:

First OGC Gateway™ Review 0

Even at the very early stages of the programme there must be a clear understanding of the outcomes needed from the programme, but the overall scope and way forward will not yet be clear. Measures of success will be in outline. Key stakeholders should already have been identified, especially for cross-cutting programmes. The components of the programme (sub-programmes and projects) and its resource requirements will not be certain at this stage. There should be early indicators of the additional factors that could affect success, which will vary significantly depending on the programme. The programme controls will not have been established in detail
At programme initiation all areas in this section will require thorough investigation

Mid-stage OGC Gateway™ Review 0

Assumptions will need to be revisited; particular areas to probe are:

  • whether stakeholders remain supportive

  • whether the programme is still affordable

  • management of issues relating to additional factors that could affect success

  • the effectiveness of programme controls

Final OGC Gateway™ Review 0

The main areas to investigate are continued clarity of understanding about the required programme outcomes and supportiveness of stakeholders as the programme closes

Areas to probe

Evidence expected

    2.1 Is there a clear understanding of the outcomes to be delivered by the programme and are they soundly based?

  • A description of the programme’s business/policy drivers/objectives and how they contribute to the overall objectives of senior management for a particular public service or the organisation’s change agenda

  • An outline of the required outputs/outcomes and their relationship to each other

  • Definition of the benefit profiles for the programme, for each of the benefits expected

  • Evidence that the way forward is likely to achieve the intended outcome

  • For policy implementation, a rationale and objectives statement, appraisal of options and evaluation plan for the option being pursued

  • Where applicable, description of linkage to government performance and delivery targets and/or commitments of senior management

2.2 Does the programme demonstrate a clear link with wider government objectives?

  • Analysis to show the programme’s relationship to relevant cross-cutting government policies such as the Modernisation Agenda and Transformational Government

  • Options identified that reflect the requirements of the government’s Public Service Reform initiatives

  • Account has been taken of relevant impact assessment and appraisal issues such as Regulatory Impact, Sustainable Development and Environmental Appraisal

  • Linkage between strategic objectives and outcomes and the programme’s deliverables

2.3 Is there an understanding of the scope of the programme?

  • A description of the programme scope as far as it is known – what is in and out of scope

2.4 What will constitute success?

  • Definition of key critical success factors and how the required quality of performance will be measured

  • Description of main outcomes and analysis of the leading and lagging indicators of them

  • Relationship between programme outcomes and government targets, or major policy initiatives, where applicable

  • Projected performance over the life of the programme, with key performance targets and measures agreed with stakeholders

  • Evidence that the programme can be evaluated in a practical and affordable way

2.5 Who are the stakeholders and are they supportive?

  • A list of key stakeholders and statements of their needs and support for the programme

  • Plan for communicating with and involving stakeholders in appropriate ways, and securing common understanding and agreement

  • For cross-cutting programmes, clear lines of accountability for resolving any conflicting stakeholder requirements

  • Recognition of the need to involve external delivery partners and industry and the supply side where appropriate

    2.6 What are the component projects and sub-programmes of the programme, and why is it structured in this way?

  • Description of programme strands and/or sub-programmes and main projects, with explanation of how each will contribute to the required outcomes; key deliverables and identification of key interdependencies

  • Evidence that implementation will be broken up into manageable steps and phased delivery where appropriate, and will avoid ‘big-bang’ approaches

2.7 Is the proposed programme affordable?

  • An estimate of the programme cost based on previous experience/comparison with other similar programmes, broken down as appropriate by programme strands and/or sub-programmes and main projects

  • Available funds identified and methods of securing additional necessary funding determined

  • Provision in current spending review allocation, including an allowance for risk

  • Market soundings and assessment of likely cost profiles

    1. What are the additional factors that could affect success?

  • Main risks identified at the outset, with nominated risk owners; options for mitigating these risks considered; and need recognised for contingency plans and, where appropriate, business continuity plans

  • Description of dependencies/other factors/programmes already under way that could affect the outcomes of the programme

  • Engagement with delivery chains and/or the market to determine capability to meet the need and, where appropriate, to identify suitable options for delivery

  • Where suppliers/partners are already in place, evidence that their ability to deliver has been considered

  • The legal framework for the programme and its projects exists, is comprehensive and is sound

    1. Have programme controls been determined, especially where constituent projects will be ‘joined up’ with other organisations?

  • Overall programme controls defined (progress tracking, risk management, issue identification and resolution, impact assessment)

  • Interdependencies between other programmes and projects defined, with high-level plans for managing them

  • For collaborative programmes, accountabilities and governance arrangements for different organisations defined and agreed

  • Parties in the delivery chain identified and an approach to them working together established

  • Processes to manage and record key programme information and decision-making

3: Management of intended outcomes

How to use this section for:

First OGC Gateway™ Review 0

If the first Review is very early, the key aspects to investigate in depth are:

  • main outcomes identified

  • relationships between outcomes

Plans for achieving the outcomes are likely to be unclear at an early stage, but there should be evidence of high level plans for the way forward (or a set of options for consideration, with a preferred option identified) and a reasonably clear indication of how success will be measured – e.g. a trajectory for take-up of a service

At programme initiation all areas must be investigated in depth to confirm that expectations for delivery are realistic and that performance can be measured with reasonable accuracy

Mid-stage OGC Gateway™ Review 0

The main focus of this mid-stage Review is to check that plans for delivery of outcomes remain achievable

Final OGC Gateway™ Review 0

The topics in this section may not need to be covered at programme closure

Areas to probe

Evidence expected

    3.1 Have the main outcomes been identified?

  • Up-to-date list of the main outcomes and desired benefits, linked to strategic outcomes and to the deliverables from specific projects

3.2 Are the planned outcomes still achievable, or have any changes in scope, relationship or value been properly agreed, and has the Business Case been reviewed?

  • Outcomes identified, together with their relationships to each other

  • Credible plans for the achievement of outcomes

  • Ongoing commitment from stakeholders to the outcomes and their achievement

    3.3 Are key stakeholders confident that outcomes will be achieved when expected?

  • Confirmation that planned outcomes have been achieved to date

  • Mechanisms for collecting performance data in place and a plan for evaluating impact of programme in operation

  • Programme Board confident that planned milestones will result in good quality deliverables that will, in turn, deliver the necessary outcomes

  • Commitment from key stakeholders that programme deliverables will achieve the desired outcomes

3.4 Is there a plan for achieving the required outcomes?

  • A benefits management strategy, and a plan to ensure that outcomes are delivered in terms of performance measures/key performance indicators

  • Plans to identify appropriate baseline measures against which future performance will be assessed

  • Plans to carry out performance measurement against the defined measures and indicators

  • Where planned outcomes have not been achieved, evidence that the problems have been identified and plans are in place to resolve them

  • Clarity on how the objectives from the sub-programmes/projects link to the outcomes of the programme

4: Risk management

How to use this section for:

First OGC Gateway™ Review 0

If the first Review is very early, the major risks must be identified at high level, with an indication of how they will be managed and initial consideration of the requirements for contingency plans
At programme initiation all aspects of risk management must be probed in depth

Mid-stage OGC Gateway™ Review 0

The main focus is on checking that risk management is effective

Final OGC Gateway™ Review 0

The status of the risk register at programme closure will be the principal area to investigate – which risks have now been removed and which risks (if any) will be transferred to the risk register for a new initiative, or corporate risk log

Areas to probe

Evidence expected

    4.1 Have the major risks been identified?

  • Up-to-date list of major risks to the overall programme (strategic, political/reputational and legislative) analysed by likelihood and impact

  • Early warning indicators identified

  • Evidence that the risks of success (e.g. take-up or usage greater than expected) have been considered and contingencies identified

  • Evidence of regular review of risks, mitigation options and contingency plans

4.2 How will risks be managed?

  • Identification of a governance framework and procedures for risk management in the programme, and allocation of responsibilities

  • Details of the risk allocation (to whom allocated and why) with high level plans for managing them

  • Action to manage the risks identified and, where appropriate, action taken

  • Evidence of the escalation procedures

4.3 Have assurance measures for the programme been put in place?

  • Critical friends’ to the programme (e.g. internal audit, procurement, specialists and/or peer reviewers co-opted onto the Programme Board) appointed, with evidence that they challenge assumptions, decisions and risks

  • OGC Gateway Reviews, health-checks and/or policy reviews incorporated into plans

  • Evidence that Review recommendations are turned into action plans

  • Evidence that advice from ‘critical friends’ is acted upon

  • Where appropriate, evidence of audit arranging for complementary assurance (about control and processes) from audit functions through the delivery chain

  • Evidence that the programme is subject to the organisation’s assurance framework for its portfolio of programmes and projects

  • Evidence that market/supply considerations are understood and acted upon

4.4 Is there a contingency plan and, where appropriate, business continuity plans?

  • Decisions about contingency and, where necessary business continuity arrangements made with appropriate plans

  • Programme’s effects on public services analysed and decisions taken about those for which contingency arrangements will be needed

  • Milestones relating to contingency measures in plans, and the milestones being achieved as expected

5: Review of current outcomes

How to use this section for:

First OGC Gateway™ Review 0

This section would not normally apply, but some of the topics may need to be considered

Mid-stage OGC Gateway™ Review 0

All areas will need to be investigated in depth to confirm that the programme remains on track and that issues are being managed effectively

Final OGC Gateway™ Review 0

This section of the Review concentrates on confirming that the expected outcomes have been achieved and that no outstanding issues remain

Areas to probe

Evidence expected

    5.1 Is the programme on track?

  • Programme report and plan updated

  • Milestones achieved as planned

  • Plan for benefits measurement and achievement is on track

  • Risk Register is up to date

  • Highlight Reports for constituent work-streams

  • Resources and funding used to date

  • Issues being resolved

  • Confidence from delivery partners that future milestones and plans are realistic

  • Interdependencies with other programmes being managed

5.2 Have problems occurred and if so how have they been resolved?

  • Issues documented, with details of action taken

  • Governance framework with escalation routes to senior management

  • Programme Plan updated to reflect changing issues and risks

  • Recommendations from last OGC Gateway Review actioned

6: Readiness for next phase: Delivery of outcomes

How to use this section for:

First OGC Gateway™ Review 0

If the first Review is very early, plans may be in too early a stage of development to provide reliable evidence
At programme initiation all areas would apply to this Review, with the main focus on ensuring that everything is in place to start delivering the required outcomes

Mid-stage OGC Gateway™ Review 0

All areas should be probed in depth

Final OGC Gateway™ Review 0

This section would not normally apply at programme closure, but some of the topics may need to be considered

Areas to probe

Evidence expected

    6.1 Is there a continuing need for the programme?

  • The desired outcomes of the programme are still aligned to the organisational strategy

  • Continuing commitment from stakeholders

  • Confidence that the programme is organised to deliver the outcomes when needed

  • The Programme Brief or Programme Business Case has been updated as necessary and is still valid

6.2 What assumptions have been made about the programme?

  • A listing of major assumptions made in preparing the Programme Brief, updated to reflect any changes that could affect success, together with current assessments of the validity of all assumptions

6.3 How will change be managed?

  • Plans for managing the transition to new ways of working/structures/policies, with any key barriers identified (such as cultural resistance to change) and the approach to overcoming them agreed

6.4 Affordability: Are the funds to reach the next phase available?

  • Budget provision for the programme

  • Adequate approaches for estimating, monitoring and controlling the expenditure on the programme

6.5 Are the required internal/external individuals and organisations suitably skilled, available and committed to carrying out the work?

  • Information showing who needs to be involved, when and what they must deliver

  • Identification of the key skills – specialist and management – required for the next phase of the programme

  • Key roles in place, with skills matched to the nature of the work

  • Evidence that these resources will be available when needed throughout the next phase

    6.6 Achievability: Are the plans for the next phase realistic?

  • Plan developed showing: streams of work (sub-programmes, projects, etc.); deliverables/milestones and the route map to achieve them; timescales; organisation; costs and resourcing; stakeholder involvement; risk management and benefits management

  • Evidence that the robustness of the plans has been tested and found to be adequate

6.7 Are appropriate management controls in place?

  • Accountabilities allocated to SROs

  • Programme management controls and reporting mechanisms defined and operational

  • Plans for ongoing management of the delivery chain are in place

6.8 Where procurement is a part of the programme: How is capability and capacity for acquisition to be managed?

  • Procurement strategy in place and evidence of it’s application to programme and it’s projects

  • Market management plan in place and evidence that a good understanding exists of supply side capability and capacity

Programme documents

The areas of investigation together with examples of evidence should be available before the OGC Gateway Review starts. The information is likely to be found in the documents suggested below, but may be located in other programme documents or elsewhere in the organisation’s documentation system:

  • the business strategy and business plan, where applicable: this should set out the organisations’s strategy and policy objectives in relation to a set of public services or explain the objectives of the organisation’s change agenda.

  • any relevant Public Service Agreements (and associated targets and delivery plans) and Performance Partnership Agreement.

  • a Programme Brief or Programme Business Case: this document will be loosely formed at the outset and developed over the life of the programme. It should provide progressively more detailed information about:

  • objectives: a description of the purposes, outcomes sought, key deliverables and timescales plus the main success criteria against which the programme will be measured

  • background: outline of the key drivers for the programme, showing how it will contribute to policy outcomes or the business strategy

  • a model of the intended outcome(s) as a vision of the future and how the vision will be delivered through the organisation(s) involved, delivery agents, new services, etc

  • scope: the boundaries of the programme

  • the required benefits from the programme; these will be elaborated in a benefit profile for each defined benefit, covering a description of the benefit, when it will be realised, and the measures and performance indicators which will be used to assess achievement levels and their costs

  • the main assumptions and constraints on which the programme will be founded and dependencies with other programmes or strategies

  • stakeholders: a list of the key stakeholders and their role in the programme, with a strategy and plan for communicating and engaging with them

  • finance: the financial provision made for the programme and its components

  • organisation: the way in which the programme is to be organised, led and linked into other related programmes

  • risks: the main risks so far identified, a strategy for managing them and need for any contingency arrangements

  • issues: a strategy for capturing and resolving issues

  • outcomes: a strategy for measuring results and achieving outcomes

  • components: a list of the projects in the programme’s portfolio and interdependencies that have to be delivered successfully if the programme is to achieve its objectives and their current status.

  • a plan covering the work to be done over the short/medium term:

  • identifying the streams of work and sub-programmes, together with the main deliverables and milestones for each one and contribution each is to make to the programme outcomes

  • resource estimates (e.g. funding for delivery bodies, people, systems).

Supporting guidance

  • The OGC Gateway™ Process: A manager’s checklist provides a set of key questions that SROs should consider to determine the progress of their programme or project and the potential for success

  • A workbook for each OGC Gateway™ Review provides detailed questions to support each Review. The workbooks can be downloaded from the OGC website, which also includes guidance on procurement, programme and project management: www.ogc.gov.uk

  • OGC: Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2: www.ogc.gov.uk

  • OGC: Managing Successful Programmes: www.ogc.gov.uk

  • OGC: Management of Risk: www.ogc.gov.uk

  • OGC: Achieving Excellence in Construction: www.ogc.gov.uk

  • HM Treasury: Green Book – Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government - and supporting supplements: http://greenbook.treasury.gov.uk

  • HM Treasury: Orange Book – Management of Risk, Principles and Concepts: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

  • HM Treasury: The Private Finance Initiative (PFI): http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

  • Operational Taskforce Note1; Benchmarking and Market Testing Guidance: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

  • IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL): http://www.itil.co.uk

  • Intellect: Concept Viability: www.intellecuk.org

  • Cabinet Office Delivery and Transformation Group and CIO Council guidance; available at http://www.cio.gov.uk

  • Cabinet Office: Professional Policy Making for the 21st century: www.policyhub.gov.uk

  • Cabinet Office: Strategy Survival Guide: www.strategy.gov.uk

  • Cabinet Office: Transformational Government: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk

  • Cabinet Office: The UK Government’s Approach to Public Service Reform: http://www.strategy.gov.uk

  • Cabinet Office: Professional Skills for Government: http://psg.civilservice.gov.uk

  • Policy Hub: Impact Assessment and Appraisal: www.policyhub.gov.uk

  • National Audit Office: Managing Risks to Improve Public Services: www.nao.org.uk

Further information

About OGC

OGC – the UK Office of Government Commerce – is an office of HM Treasury.
The OGC logo is a registered trademark of the Office of Government Commerce
OGC Gateway™ is a trademark of the Office of Government Commerce
ITIL® is a registered trademark, and a registered community trademark of the Office of Governement Commerce, and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
IT Infrastructure Library® is a registered trademark of the Office of Governement Commerce
PRINCE2™ is a registered trademark of the Office of Governement Commerce

OGC Service Desk

OGC customers can contact the central OGC Service Desk about all aspects of OGC business. The Service Desk will also channel queries to the appropriate second-line support. We look forward to hearing from you.
You can contact the Service Desk

8am–6pm Monday to Friday

T: 0845 000 4999

E: ServiceDesk@ogc.gsi.gov.uk

W: www.ogc.gov.uk

Press enquiries

T: 020 7271 1318

F: 020 7271 1345

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