IT Governance

Why Efficient Project Governance Can Help Your Projects Succeed

Project governance is a critical element of any project, as it addresses responsibilities for strategic decision-making, and can be particularly useful to the change control processes. When implemented well, project governance can make a positive impact on the quality and speed of decision making on significant issues. However, many organizations think of governance like a goblin, or something that holds no value to the business but required for legal purposes. Kiron Bondale writes on his blog that project managers, team members, and key stakeholders should welcome governance as an important factor that contributes to their desired outcomes, and a right-sized governance can help a project succeed.

Supporting, Not Controlling

When did you last demand for more project governance over your project? Probably never. Project governance has held its negative connotations since it gives off the vibe that projects are going to be controlled rather than supported. This is not completely false, as in some organizations, project governance puts constraints on what a manager and team members can do. However, the word “govern” doesn’t mean it’s going to work like a government where your projects are censored and dictated. If “authentic” and effective project governance is implemented, a project manager can still make decisions, while adhering to the rules and regulations under which an IT project functions. Project governance not only provides a framework for the decision-making capabilities of an organization, but it also ensures that the project execution will go smoothly.

Project governance can also introduce more workload for the project team, such as more presentations and to-do lists.  However, in the end it proves worthwhile when right-sized. How should a right-sized governance look like? Bondale says this:

  • Like good insurance, the perceived and tangible benefits need to significantly outweigh the costs. This means that governance should consume the core deliverables and other outputs of a project rather than requiring the creation or population of new artifacts or systems.
  • It needs to take complexity and context into consideration and not merely be driven by project costs.
  • It should be exception-driven focusing on tighter management of the few with minimal oversight over the many.

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