Gated assurance

The role of assurance is to provide information to those that sponsor, govern and manage a project to help them make informed decisions to promote the conditions for success, reduce the causes of project failure, and deliver improved outcomes. The Queensland Government ICT program and project assurance policy and supporting framework provides a structured approach for assurance that leverages existing, industry recognised best practice methodologies.

What will agencies need to do?

  • Use the assurance profiling tool to determine the assurance level of a program or project.
  • Develop an assurance plan.
  • Arrange assurance from an appropriate provider.
  • Work with the Queensland Government Chief Information Office to monitor and report on the assurance gates.
  • Ensure that submissions to the ICT Conceptual/Investment Review process are supported by appropriate assurance and resultant action plans.

Assurance gates

The Queensland Government endorse the use of the OGC GatewayTM Process that applies six focused reviews during the life of a program or project.

The following information describing each gate is found the Queensland Treasury's website and is based on material in the Successful Delivery Toolkit, UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC), 2007.

  • Gate 0 Strategic assessment - Applies to programs and is conducted throughout a program's lifecycle to investigate and confirm direction and planned outcomes, together with the progress of its projects.
  • Gate 1 Preliminary evaluation - Performed at the completion of the outline business case. It confirms the strategic importance of the initiative and its links to government and agency policy. The review confirms that the business case is robust.
  • Gate 2 Readiness for market - This review is performed after a single delivery option is identified. It will assess the viability, potential for success, value for money and proposed approach. This review confirms objectives and desired outputs remain aligned and ensures the procurement approach is robust, appropriate and approved.
  • Gate 3 Investment decision - Performed before contract sign-off or project delivery commencement. This review checks statutory and procedural requirements were followed and the recommended decision is likely to deliver on time, within budget and provide value for money.
  • Gate 4 Readiness for service - Occurs once the asset or service is ready for delivery. This review checks system testing has been completed to user satisfaction and the business is ready to take over operation.
  • Gate 5 Benefits realisation - This review examines benefits.  It focuses on performance against a baseline and the continuing focus on measuring the project’s success in achieving its objectives and potential remedial actions.

Assurance for Agile projects

For Agile delivered projects, the QGCIO endorse the use of the United Kingdom Cabinet Office Major Projects Authority 'Assurance and approvals for agile delivery of digital services', Annex A. However, if your agency prefers, traditional Gateway reviews can also be applied.

Assurance information

Assurance templates

Related policies and frameworks

The Project Commencement Approval policy outlines the approvals required by a department prior to commencing a high-value project.

The Project Assessment Framework (PAF) provides a common, rigorous approach to assessing projects at critical stages in their lifecycle.

All projects that have received project commencement approval and are required to apply the PAF should also be submitting to the ICT Conceptual/Investment Review process and undertaking appropriate gateway assurance.

For further information contact ICTInvestmentReview@qgcio.qld.gov.au.

Frequently asked questions

What is Business as usual (BAU)?

BAU work is typically repeatable routine tasks. It can also include simple modifications or enhancements to existing services where the timescales are relatively short. Characteristics include:

  • ongoing
  • stable team
  • routine
  • a degree of certainty.

What is a project?

A project is temporary and is created to address a problem, opportunity or change. Importantly, it needs to be managed by a project manager. Characteristics include:

  • temporary
  • team is created
  • difficult
  • a degree of uncertainty.

What is a program?

A program is temporary and is created to deliver outcomes and benefits. Characteristics include:

  • temporary, will usually have a lifespan of several years
  • coordinates related projects and/or BAU activities to achieve strategic objectives
  • it integrates projects to deliver an outcome greater than the sum of its parts
  • the overhead of a program is appropriate (e.g. spending $100,000 on program management for a set of activities that cost $200,000 is counter-productive).

The definitions for a project and BAU are sourced from PRINCE2 Agile 2015, page 5. Definitions can also be found on the QGCIO glossary.


Last Reviewed: 26 September 2017