IT Governance

Portfolio Governance: Ensuring Alignment to Strategy with Definitions

Out with the old and in with the new! In a continuation of a portfolio governance series, Jen Skrabak, writing for Voices on Project Management, elaborates on basic governance functions per PMI’s new Governance of Portfolios, Programs, and Projects: A Practice Guide. There are four fundamental elements to governance:

  1. Oversight
  2. Control
  3. Integration
  4. Decision-making

Oversight, in reference to governance, refers to providing guidance in the creation of portfolios. Control is the monitoring and measuring of the portfolio status. Integration is the strategic alignment of the portfolio. The final element is decision-making, which helps to create a hierarchy of authority. In addition to these fundamentals, there are four governance domains:

  1. Alignment
  2. Risk
  3. Communication
  4. Performance

Alignment involves creating an integrated governance framework. Risk is the identification and eradication of potential threats. Communication involves sharing information and engaging the stakeholders. Performance is the measurement and evaluation of KPIs.

Day-to-day portfolio management is an entirely different function from governance activities. Some portfolio managers may play a governance role on some programs and projects, but their role is different from their traditional portfolio management one.

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