Project Due Diligence

October 26, 2014

Each year, the R2A Board reviews the R2A practice, what it is and how it achieves.  The Board notes that the directors always feel that what they and the practice do ‘makes a difference’, not just to our clients but to the overall way business is conducted in Australia.

In doing so this year, the board has noticed some interesting correlations.  The greatest part of the R2A practice over the last 10 years has been in project due diligence.  Any project to which the R2A process has been applied has been a success.  They have come in on time and budget, and to specification.  These include the procurement of Class E trams and X’trapolis trains, Eastlink, Tugan Bypass, the Marina Coastal Expressway and many others.

The directors believe that this is not necessarily only due to the power of the R2A project due diligence process. It is most likely to be due to the quality of our clients. Careful customers rarely make dumb mistakes.  Adding a third party like R2A to a project review is ensuing a further prudent precaution on top of what is an already robust process.

But as a result of investigations into failed projects, and listening to discussions regarding the reasons for various project blowouts and failures at project management forums during the year, another, more alarming correlation is appearing. It seems that major projects that manage risks exclusively using the formal process described in ISO 31000, the Risk Management standard, are the ones most likely to fail.

Whilst the R2A practice has always understood that the Risk Management Standard of itself is unable to positively demonstrate due diligence with regard to big, rare (low likelihood – high consequence) events, R2A did not believe that the standard of itself would be the mechanism of failure, but this now appears to be the emerging pattern.

The R2A directors, Gaye Francis and Richard Robinson, are presenting on Project Due Diligence with a focus on the procurement and delivery of Class E Trams, at the Mastering Complex Projects stream at the Engineers Australia Convention in Melbourne on 26th November 2014.  For further details see: http://www.convention2014.org.au/conferences-and-events/mcp-conference/day-2-program.

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