Performing an Internal Audit of Your Project's Deliverables

Performing an Internal Audit of Your Project's Deliverables
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Deliverables Define a Project

A deliverable is an event that can be measured and is the end result of any actions taken while executing a project. Each part of a project can have a separate deliverable, and the project deliverables are those that are agreed on with the end user for the requirements that initiated the project in the first place.

Every deliverable must be tangible and capable of being verified. It can be particular design specifications, costs, time schedules or even service or maintenance instructions. Every deliverable also has a stakeholder and this can be individuals or an organization. These are the people who will receive the final product and use it for the purpose intended. Each deliverable will have a certain standard for completion which can be in terms of quality, time, or utilization of resources. Every project needs to be organized around deliverables so that the monitoring can assess the path of that particular deliverable to its completion stage.

It is important that deliverables are constantly reviewed and audited so that the accuracy and completion of the deliverables is under constant review. Internal audit project deliverables should make an initial risk assessment of all aspects of the project. A review must be made of the documentation for the project deliverables and whether these have been agreed to by all the stakeholders and project personnel. Project meetings need to be monitored and verbal audit reports presented during such meetings. The audit has to be continuous with periodic reports on the status of the deliverables. All milestones have to be reviewed and any slippage duly reported.

Looking Inward…

Internal auditors will need to be aware of the project plan and the desired end results. An understanding of these will enable an internal auditor to better gauge the risks that could delay or hamper the end result. They should be aware of each of the project deliverables and their likely impact on the project completion.

The implementation plans will need to be correctly assessed for the utilization of resources, with the capabilities of the organization of the project team to complete each of the deliverables judged.

Data collection and methods to verify data accuracy are required to be clearly established. Monitoring should be enabled at every stage for each deliverable.

Periodic risk assessments will be made for each deliverable and their likely impact on the project indicated to the project manager.

Internal auditors will need to have a complete audit verification plan for each stage of the project. They have to review these constantly to see that they are moving towards the desired goals for each deliverable.

Internal audit project deliverables should be able to present a review of lessons learned through the audit process and the actions necessary to minimize future mistakes. If this is done repeatedly, it can help the project team to avoid errors in future.