IT Best PracticesIT Governance

7 Factors of Good Project Governance

Good project governance is the difference between crossing a desert with or without a map and compass. Governance sets the barriers and the channels for assistance. It demystifies. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin shares seven factors of good project governance:

  1. You have a sponsor.
  2. You have a plan.
  3. You have clear reporting.
  4. Your stakeholders are engaged.
  5. You manage lessons learned.
  6. You have clear roles and responsibilities.
  7. Projects are stopped when appropriate.

For the Parched Project

A project sponsor assumes responsibility for the business case, ensures proper resources are allocated, and acts as a conduit between the project team and executives. Yet some teams to this day are not sure who their sponsor is. You must have a sponsor on your project if the project is to carry any weight. Likewise, you must have a project plan, a document that covers various dimensions of managing quality, risk, changes, etc. This is where your end of the demystifying starts to occur.

The other end of demystifying occurs with clear reporting. Whether it is budget reports, reporting on general project progress, or giving a project overview to senior management, there are templates you can use to streamline the process for yourself and the one reviewing the information. The PMO, if it exists, probably has templates to provide.

One thing that can make or break a project schedule is stakeholder management. Stakeholders have a wide spectrum of viewpoints, some of which will slow the project and others that will create whole new opportunities, but all of these viewpoints must be managed. Good stakeholder involvement will ensure only a minimum of blind spots exists on the project.

About managing lessons learned, Harrin shares this:

I mean really manage them – not just capture them in a post-implementation document and then file them away where no other project managers can find them.

Lessons learned feed into governance because it shows you have a culture of continuous improvement. How frustrating is it to make a mistake and then have someone say: “Oh yes, that happened to me last time!”… Embedded lessons learned can be a large change to the culture if you don’t do it already, but sharing lessons between projects is a good way to improve the culture of delivery and project governance overall.

It is not merely the project manager who has to be on the ball though. The whole team must be engaged, which is made possible by establishing clear responsibilities for everyone. If necessary, formalize these roles in a project charter or some equivalent document. And lastly, good project governance means that if it is determined that a project can no longer deliver value, the project will be stopped. A competent gate review will see to it that meaningless projects are terminated.

You can view the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/7-factors-good-project-governance/

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