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Investment Reviews

Good investment management does not stop with the decision to invest, but continues throughout the life of a project. To ensure our investments are on-track to deliver their benefits, we undertake investment reviews at all stages of the investment, to provide an independent assessment of how it is performing, and recommend areas to focus on for improvement.

The Gateway process

In 2008 the government introduced Gateway, an independent and confidential peer review process, to support agencies to deliver their most complex projects.

Gateway reviews look at investment projects at critical points in their lifecycle to assess the likelihood of successful delivery. Over 200 Gateway reviews have been conducted on over 92 projects across 41 agencies.

Over the course of one week, a review team conducts interviews with key stakeholders and project personnel, and reviews key documents. The output of the assessment is a Review Report for the project Senior Responsible Owner (SRO), which assesses confidence in the project's likelihood of success, along with practical recommendations to give the project the best chance of success.

As well as providing advice and recommendations to the SROs of individual projects, Gateway gives insight into system challenges to delivering successful projects. Every fifty reviews, the Gateway Unit produces a Lessons Learned report, the most recent one in 2015. The top three most common issues it identified were governance capability, sourcing strategy and management, and use of the Better Business Cases framework. To read these reports, visit: www.treasury.govt.nz/statesector/investmentmanagement/review/gateway/lessons

Office of the Auditor General Review of Gateway

In 2016 the Office of the Auditor General reviewed the Gateway process.[14]The review found that Gateway has delivered benefits for individual investment projects, including helping project sponsors to work through issues, and providing specific actions that have directly affected a project's success.

The review did identify some limitations of Gateway. In particular, it recognised that Gateway is very much a fixed-format approach, and may not always be the best approach for all projects at all stages in their lifecycle. The Treasury supports this view and is exploring other types of Investment Reviews to address this limitation. These reviews may be more flexible in terms of scope, team size and duration, and/or might focus on a specific project issue.

78% of Senior Responsible Owners strongly agree, and the other 22% agree, that Gateway was beneficial and will impact positively on the outcome of the project.

“The review has helped put a spotlight on particular issues requiring attention. We can use the report to create visibility and leverage for faster action and resolution. The review will also help ensure the programme continues to get the level of support it needs from the wider organisation.”

Carol Slappendel, Senior Responsible Owner Deputy Government Statistician and Deputy Chief Executive Operations, Statistics New Zealand

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