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All-of-government Payroll Programme – Assessing delivery confidence for payroll projects

Assessing delivery confidence

Agencies retain individual accountability for successful delivery of payroll projects.

This framework is intended to be used by Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) to highlight the questions they need to ask of their project leaders at key decision points.

SROs are expected to provide the Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO) with their view of the delivery confidence for their payroll projects.

The GCDO will meet with SROs at each decision point to understand their level of delivery confidence.

A framework for agencies to assess their delivery confidence

Helping agencies determine their view of delivery confidence

This framework, which is structured around a series of questions based on good practice, has been provided to help agencies determine their view of delivery confidence.


  • still own their payroll projects
  • have a framework for their decision-making
  • are better able to determine their level of confidence.

Allowing the GCDO to identify emerging system-wide risks and potential responses

The GCDO’s conversations with agencies at key decision points will inform the GCDO’s six-monthly reporting to Ministers.

Providing ministers with assurance

The GCDO will provide Ministers with assurance that:

  • expenditure on payroll services is warranted
  • payroll project risks are managed, and
  • payroll services are fit-for-purpose and provided at a reasonable cost [CAB-19-MIN-0492].

Step-by-step assessment at key decision points in the project

1. Investment proposal

Investment justification — Are we ready to invest?

The assessment checks in this phase are listed below.

  • The intent of the initiative (outcomes, scope, benefits and timeframe) is clear and agreed.

  • The people capacity and capability required is understood and is available.
  • Executive and senior leadership understands the need for investment and the complexities and demands of the programme. All investors support this initiative.
  • The governance and management structures are agreed and in place.

  • The extent of the business change and readiness is understood and there is commitment to effecting the change.

  • Lessons learned from similar initiatives have been fully considered and incorporated into the programme planning and scoping.

  • The investment is needed now and benefits are identified.

  • Holidays Act compliance and any remediation is clearly understood and progressed such that the investment can continue

  • The cost and benefit profile of the investment is understood.

  • The timeframes are realistic and achievable.

  • The full range of investment options have been formally considered and the preferred option agreed.

  • The initiative is ready to move to the next phase, with the necessary planning completed.
  • Central agency investment management practices have been followed.


Investment is needed and aligns with government priorities, agency is committed to change and benefits are clear.

2. Initiate project

People, approach, and management practices — Are we organised to begin the project?

The assessment checks in this phase are listed below.

  • All internal and external dependencies have been identified and owned.

  • The governing board is in place and has the requisite authority and experience, and can commit time to govern the project.

  • Information provided to the governing board for oversight and decision- making is relevant, succinct, timely, and accurate.

  • The project team has the right skills, experience and personalities, and the organisation supports the team to deliver.

  • The project plan is realistic, achievable, understood, resourced and there is buy-in from investors and stakeholders.
  • A formal process is in place for controlling and authorising changes to scope, costs, outcomes and timeframes.

  • An effective risk identification process is in place, risk tolerance is understood, and key risks mitigated.

  • Stakeholders have been identified, engaged, informed and can contribute to the success of the programme.

  • An effective approach has been taken to engaging and having suppliers committed to the project outcomes.

  • Planning for the next stage has been reviewed/refreshed and the project is ready to move to the next stage.

  • The scope and complexity of business change management and impact on the organisation has been fully assessed and confirmed.


Project structure, people, methodology, management and assurance practices are agreed.

3. Select solution

Solution and implementation partner selection — Are our solution and partner suitable?

The assessment checks in this phase are listed below.

  • Consideration has been given to engaging a strategic partner.

  • The procurement strategy and commercial arrangements are complete and approved by the governance body.

  • The preferred solution meets the requirements and, if not, gaps and trade offs have been identified.

  • There is a rigorous dispute resolution mechanism in place between the agency and supplier.

  • The supplier has the right capabilities (skills and expertise) and capacity to deliver to schedule.

  • The supplier has a proven track record of delivering including relevant reference-site information.

  • The risks for the Crown have been robustly considered and documented, and risks and mitigations identified.

  • Preferred solution enables agency payroll processes to be compliant with the Holidays Act.

  • Contracts are approved by the governance board, and legal review completed and off-ramps identified.

  • The agency has the necessary capability (expertise, experience and skills) and capacity to successfully deliver the outcomes and operate the system.

  • There has been a rigorous examination of the costs and the project remains affordable and achievable.

  • The implementation plan is achievable and the planning assumptions are clear and unambiguous.

  • Planning for the next stage has been reviewed/refreshed as necessary.


Procurement, partner and solution selection, contract, delivery approach, and plan are in place.

4. Design and build solution

Design and build and business change planning — Does the detailed design meet the requirements?

The assessment checks in this phase are listed below.

  • The design board has been engaged throughout the design and build/configure process and has approved key design documents.

  • The process design aligns with the Common Process Model as appropriate.

  • The interface design (user interface, system integration, data, migration and reporting) is complete and approved.

  • The technical design complies with the agency’s architecture and government standards.

  • The security and privacy design meets government’s standards.

  • The design ‘blueprint’ documents have been cross referenced to requirements and followed by developers and technical teams.

  • The design supports and enables the investment outcomes.

  • If customising a packaged solution, the software changes have been approved by the design and governance boards.

  • The business change management scope, approach and plan has been completed and accepted by the business owners.

  • Solution testing confirms payroll calculations and outputs are accurate and decisions on implementation readiness are comprehensive and endorsed by the governance board.

  • The benefits realisation and benefits management plan has been reviewed and updated, as appropriate.

  • The ‘go live’ decision criteria have been agreed.


Design and build/configuration, test, business change and benefits realisation planning and management are completed.

5. Implement and operate

Go live and hand over to operations — Are we ready to go live?

The assessment checks in this phase are listed below.

  • Business readiness — agency is ready for go live, all change readiness activities have been executed, and staff are ready for the change.

  • User readiness — user training strategy and plan executed, training material is complete and users trained, and supporting processes, documentation, and support mechanisms in place.

  • System application readiness — software is configured to meet requirements, security and user access profiles completed, and testing completed and approved.

  • Technical infrastructure readiness — performance and security testing complete, production environment ready, network, desktop, and mobile environments ready, and disaster recovery in place and tested.

  • Business partner readiness — contracts and support arrangements in place.

  • Data readiness — data migration and reconciliation process in place and tested.

  • Deployment readiness — cut over documentation complete, interim cutover processes in place, and roll-back plan in place and tested.

  • Support model readiness — early-life support in place, resourced, and capacity and expertise available.

  • Handover to production — all documentation and production support processes are in place.


Investment is successfully delivered and aligns with agency and government priorities and benefits are being realised.

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