As you know, if we want to run any system we always need some policies, some procedures, structure of administration and but, this is not enough. We also need few standards and requirements for references and to be followed. Running a system, I mean to say any organization or even a department of national or state level government cannot be fulfilled by without establishing policies, procedures, standards and requirements. In other words, we can call it governance. The Governance to run an organization is called Organization Governance whereas the framework within which project work is performed in the organization is called Project Governance. We’ll discuss about Organization Governance and Project Governance later in this article.
As far as organization governance is concerned, it refers to overall structure of an organization and it involves policies and procedures, how will the organization run and perform to meet their strategic goals. A group of people that has the authority to exercise governance over an organization is called governing body. In case of organization, governing body is a board of directors.
There are two types of standards and requirements which affect any organization and those are external and internal.
Responsibility of a board of directors
A board of directors are responsible to ensure that organization should follow external (government or regulatory) and internal standards and requirements along with achieving the high level strategic goals.
Internal requirements are such guidelines, policies and procedures which must be followed in the organization to run portfolio, program and project work to deliver specific benefits or values within strategic plan of organization.
Every organization is different
Every organization has different strategies, external and internal standards & requirements therefore different organizations have their own governance to support specific culture, organization’s attributes and code of conduct.
Project Governance is used quite loosely in the project management community. It is also called many times that whenever project fails; project governance seems to be the root cause of unsuccessfully executed project. Now the question is that what is Project Governance?
Project Governance includes the framework within which project work is performed in the organization. In easy words, we can say, it entails all the key elements that make a project successful.
Project governance is an “oversight function that is aligned with the organization’s governance model and encompasses the project life cycle,” according to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
Image source: Project Management Institute (PMI)
Below are some basic questions that cover the eight key components of project and program governance:
- Governance Model: To clarify the existing governance model, what are the gaps and what is currently working?
- Stakeholder Engagement and Risk Assessment: What is your role and how do you communicate status updates, risks and changes?
- Stakeholder Expectations: What do you consider success for the project/program?
- Roles and Responsibilities: What is your current role and what are you accountable for?
- Risk Assessment: What are the key challenges and how are they communicated and addressed?
- Meetings and Reporting: What meetings do you chair and participate in? What reports are you responsible for, do you need to review, that are missing and that you find obsolete?
- Assurance: How are you tracking in accordance with the project charter and baseline project management plan?
- Project Management Control and Roles and Responsibilities: What project metrics are you accountable for, do you have an interest in and do you monitor?
Above questions were supposed to be thought provoking and lead to longer detailed discussions. Asking these questions enabled me to form the baseline governance framework.
Project Governance involves creation and enforcement of policies and processes regarding project management knowledge areas like scope, schedule, cost, resource, quality, communications, risks, procurement, stakeholders and change management. Project Governance can be established and administered by Project Management Office (PMO).
In the next article, you will get the detailed information about Portfolio, Program and Project Management and their relationship with strategic goals of organization.
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