What is Theme D?

Assurance, reviews, reporting and governance and their connections to effective decision making - Lead by Professor Michael Bourne, Cranfield University and Professor Paolo Quattrone, University of Edinburgh

Assurance is the process by which we assess the progress of a project against its defined objectives at specific points in time to understand whether it is on track to deliver its outcomes within defined parameters.  Governance, on the other hand, should ensure that the strategic alignment of programmes and projects with policy and departmental strategic plans is achieved. 

The aim of this theme is to examine the impact assurance reviews, reporting and effective governance have on the progress of delivery of major projects. 

A central theme in Theme D concerns the analysis of how information is visualised, integrated and layered more effectively through governance and reporting systems and practices in order to improve the quality of decision-making in major programmes. We plan to investigate the connections existing between governance and intra-organisational communications, through a study of reporting and communication mechanisms. More specifically, the study aims to understand how uncertainty and ‘unknown unknowns’ are dealt with through the design of reports (e.g. through debates mobilised by programme allowances) and the impact that visual aids to decision-making (e.g. dashboards) have on the  governance, reporting and communication processes of complex programmes

Our Projects

1. Impact of Assurance Reviews (Cranfield)

2. Maieutic Governance and Reporting - Accelerating Impact in the UK Governmental Major Programmes (The University of Edinburgh, Business School)