Gateway Reviews - Lessons Learned Report
This report presents the lessons learned from the New Zealand Government’s Gateway reviews. Gateway is a project assurance methodology that involves short, focused reviews at critical points in the project's life-cycle by a team of reviewers not associated with the project. Lessons learned are observations gained from Gateway reviews which highlight opportunities for project and programme management improvements in New Zealand Government agencies.
This is the first New Zealand lessons learned report. The results are an analysis of 53 Gateway reports conducted across 33 projects and 25 agencies from the inception of Gateway in May 2008 through to March 2011.
Reviews conducted during the period were predominantly at the projects’ initiation stages (Gates 0, 1 and 2). Five of these projects have progressed to the point of ‘Investment Decision’ (Gate 3) in 2010/11, and two through to ‘Readiness for Service’ reviews (Gate 4) in late 2010/early 2011.
Positive lessons learned tend to emerge as projects progress to second and subsequent reviews. Pleasingly, the two projects which have reached Gate 4 (‘Readiness for Service’) have since successfully transitioned into service. Stakeholders of one of these suggest that it should be regarded as a best-practice project on an international stage.
The review reports identified several other agencies with projects on track to deliver successful outcomes through sound project management principles. These agencies generally share the following good practice fundamentals, encompassing many of Gateway’s key themes:
projects strongly aligned with organisation and government policies and goals
clear senior management and Ministerial ownership and leadership, including an engaged senior executive as Senior Responsible Owner (SRO)
clear governance arrangements that ensure on-going alignment with business objectives
early and sustained stakeholder engagement, with active management of critical stakeholder issues
organisational commitment to good project and risk management practice
project team with the necessary skills and experience
business cases with transparent underlying drivers, well-researched and rigorously analysed options, and benefits with specific metrics and delivery timeframes.
The Gateway reviews included in this report made a total of 608 recommendations.
The lessons learned presented in this report are grouped by the following key themes.
1 Business Case
2 Programme / Project Management
3 Risks and Issues Management
4 Stakeholder Management
7 Programme / Project Planning
8 Management of Change
9 Sourcing Strategy
10 Dependencies Management
11 Financial Management
To read the full report, go to the PDF version, attached above.