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Picture courtesy of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Picture courtesy of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Starting Gate Progress - Pace makes the race

Since Starting Gate’s inception last year it has steadily grown in stature as an important early-stage assurance tool which is applicable before OGC Gateway kicks in.  To date, 14 Starting Gate reviews have been carried out in nine different Departments with a further six reviews lined up.

It is proving its worth.  Common findings include the need for:
. more realism in timetabling;
. greater clarity and prioritisation of objectives and how to achieve them;
. identifying and testing assumptions eg around customer behaviour; and
. more skilled resources in programme delivery. 

Sound familiar? 

In being able to pick up common factors of project success - or failure - at an early point, Starting Gate reviews are helping Departments to sharpen their focus on practical delivery issues as an integral part of their policy development.  The actual implementation programme is then much more likely to start well - and to last the course.  This is why the PPM Council has committed to implementing Starting Gate in their Departments by the end of March 2010.  The Government Chief Information Officer (CIO) has similarly asked CIOs to provide details of their Departments’ major IT-enabled business change programmes which are still at the "policy" / pre-programme stage and which are required under the Operational Efficiency Programme to undertake a Starting Gate review. 

OGC is now seeking to accredit serving Senior Civil Servants as Starting Gate reviewers.  Those with at least five years working at that level and with experience of high-level policy and strategy in Government are invited to contact OGC for an informal discussion.  The commitment would be no more than one review a year (around 6 days), and offers both personal and corporate benefits of knowledge transfer and developing capability. 

For more information or to register your interest in becoming a Starting Gate reviewer please e-mail