Keep your eyes and ears open and stay on the right track

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Doing without assuring is a recipe for disaster. Effective action to remove defects is a fundamental. If action is ineffective, too little or too late then the consequences are will be bad. Steering the programme requires regular feedback. What has actually been done and what remains undone? Assurance activities are the prime source of dependable feedback.

When you do not need assurance

In theory you could do without assurance. If everyone knew everything, if communication was perfect, if each and every person did every task flawlessly, if compromises was avoidable, then, of course, you would not need assurance.

The role of assurance

The reality is, assurance is essential. So what is it? There are two useful ways to answer the question. Firstly, conceptually, what is it and, secondly, practically what types of things make up the assurance work of a programme.

Steering and bracing

Conceptually, assurance activities are the additional activities that stop things going wrong because things are not perfect. They keep the programme on the straight and narrow. Without them small things can trigger a cascade of problems that will lead to failure. Assurance activities assess what is happening and drive corrective and compensatory action.

Activity and output assurance

A broad distinction can be made between activity assurance and output assurance, though there is no clear blue water between them. Activity assurance looks at what is being done and how work is organised and executed. Output assurance looks at intermediate and final products to improve them and measure whether they fall short of, or exceed, what they need to be.

Programme assurance

Programme assurance looks at the situation, plans and activities of a programme. Is the true situation and what actually needs to be done recognised? Is there an appropriate operating model? Has the operation generated a sound plan and mobilised it? Are things working?

Though things may appear sound from the inside a critical appraisal from the outside can shed a very different light on matters. We can provide the independent critical appraisal needed to keep you out of trouble.

Testing and evaluation

Diverse layered testing underpins every successful IT solution delivery. Success depends on testing with many purposes and from many perspectives. Test early to fail fast and reduce the cost of failure. Test late and rigorously to avoid late changes destroying good work. Test it does what it was intended to do, test that what it is intended to do actually does the job.

Use our belief in smart informed testing, our years of experience testing complex systems and out aptitude for breaking things to your advantage. Work with a true quality partner.