Case Study

Federal Department Implements Aid Program from Recent Legislation

Guidehouse leverages integrated program management solution to help the Department stand up and execute the critical new program


A stipulation in the American Rescue Plan passed in March 2021 created a new $3 billion federal financial assistance program targeting companies experiencing hardship due to the pandemic’s effect on the travel industry. The Department did not have an infrastructure or processes in place to immediately put this program into action. Leaders were under pressure to meet the speedy timelines in the legislation, perform outreach to potential recipients, and begin making the intended economic impact.



To get the program up and running, the Department partnered with Guidehouse. Guidehouse quickly put a team in place to begin executing on its integrated program management office (TruePMOSM) approach. The team implemented the following framework to work with the government to get the program off the ground and continue to operate it:

Strategy and governance — Guidehouse worked with Departmental leaders to codify the strategy for stand up and execution of the program, intended outcomes, and risk tolerance. The team also helped define program governance, key roles, key controls, and how the Department would balance transparency and speed.

Budget and financial management  Guidehouse implemented comprehensive tracking and modeling of the budget based on multiple rounds of recipient outreach, actual vs. expected results, and changes based on the integrated schedule. These tools are still in place to help the Department maintain a clear picture of the financial situation over the course of the program.

Policy and process  Guidehouse assisted the government by providing analysis and recommendations on how the legislation language could translate into policies governing the program. Guidehouse also created the processes for communicating with recipients, determining eligibility, recommending funding amounts, and monitoring recipient reporting, in line with the established policies.

Risk management — Guidehouse provides ongoing counsel to the Department by recommending comprehensive risk mitigation and management activities based on the government’s risk tolerance for the program. Guidehouse also uses a risk-lens to inform the program’s processes.

Outreach and recipient communications  Guidehouse supports the agency in performing outreach to the recipient community, as well as communications with individual recipient companies.

Reporting and stakeholder communications  Guidehouse supports the government in reporting program progress and briefing oversight agencies and Departmental leadership.

Quality assurance  Guidehouse designed and is operating a robust system of quality assurance to help ensure controls operate as designed and the program minimizes mistakes and avoids material fraud, waste, or abuse.



Guidehouse successfully helped the Department in getting the funds to the intended recipients in record time and quality.

Thanks to Guidehouse’s robust PMO methodology, based on proven experience and deep practitioner knowledge of its clients, their specific program topics, and the size and scale of their programs, the team was able to skillfully adapt to specific challenges:

  • Guidehouse provided strategic guidance to help the Department work with applicant businesses that did not understand how to assemble application data consistent with the supporting documentation.
  • Also, after extensive analysis, the agency decided to reopen the application process for both a second, and third time, which drove far greater level of effort than anticipated. Guidehouse was able to continue issuing and then administering Round 1 awards while also evaluating Round 2 and 3 applicants.

The success and outcome of the program continues to impact all Americans. Integrating the myriad of details using an agile, scalable, tech-enabled approach was the key to timely, effective delivery and continued operation of this complex, large-scale program.

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