Case Study

Project Management Risk Oversight Operating Model



Bulge Bracket Investment Bank​


Risk Governance, ERM & Operational Risk

Project Overview

A significant international bank was struggling to address a long outstanding key operational risk related to inadequate program management oversight. Efforts to show progress in the establishment of a new function to monitor Enterprise project execution risk had fallen short of audit commitments and regulatory expectations. Reference Point was engaged when the ability to request additional remediation extensions was no longer an option. Within nine months, Reference Point designed and implemented an operating model and stood up a new function that provided the client comprehensive global coverage across a broad spectrum of Enterprise project management risks, including internal and external environmental, technological, human, and emerging thematic threats. The function was designed to operate effectively and efficiently and was independently assessed as sustainable by Internal Audit.


  • Reference Point deployed a team, led by the former Credit Suisse Global Head of Project Management Methodology, to analyze the client’s project management practices and subsequently create a target operating model supported by detailed operational process flows documenting interactions across the bank’s three lines of defense.
  • After syndicating the new operating model and obtaining approval to implement it from Executive Leadership and Internal Audit, Reference Point wrote a detailed Corporate Policy outlining the new function’s objectives, responsibilities and operations.
  • To ensure that the new function was appropriately staffed, Reference Point wrote job descriptions for each of the new roles, and assisted in interviewing, onboarding, and training the new team.
  • Finally, Reference Point developed internal and external communications used by the new team to announce its mandate both internally at the Bank and externally to regulators.


  • Within six months the new organization was able to highlight to its primary regulator previously unknown project management risks as well as appropriate mitigate the steps.
  • Within nine months the new organization was fully operational on a global scale and reducing project execution risk through continuous monitoring of 100+ key risk indicators, horizon scanning, and tight integration across the bank’s lines of business.
  • Reference Point provided the client with the necessary structure and documentation to successfully close an audit issue of regulatory concern that had been outstanding for 2+ years.

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