Establish Project Management Governance

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Establish Project Management Governance

Ernani Marques da Silva, MBA, PMP, PgMP Mairipora, Sao Paulo, Brazil

A project can interact with a wide group comprised of team member, vendor team members, customer or project sponsor, operational team, contract team, financial team and other relevant stakeholders. In this scenario, where the project involves a large group of people, a variety of situational things can jeopardize the project.

If you are a software project manager coming from an Information Technology (IT) background, it may be helpful for you to know how to fit into the larger view of project management outside your department.

Governance is a management method that is used to develop, communicate, implement, and monitor polices, procedures, practices, and other acts used to run a project. Putting an effective project governance structure and procedures into place helps ensure the project alignment, monitoring and controlling of threats and opportunities, decision-making, and delivery of project packages which are focused on the project planned. It allows you to appropriately address the risk and consequently meet the project requirements.

To be effective, the project governance should be planned in advance. Address relevant items in its framework like: the governance goals and objectives; the structure; the principles; the process, procedures and standards; communication; reporting relationships; escalate procedures (what, when, how, by whom); tools; responsibilities and accountabilities clearly defined and applied; measurements and criteria for measurements; quality; meeting and steering committees; audits; and monitoring and control.

Bear in mind that the governance can be affected by a series of factors: environmental, sector, industry, company culture, and legislation. For example, in a functional organization you, as project manager, may be directly reporting to a functional manager rather than to a portfolio or program manager. The project manager has the most power in a projectized organization, where all work is set up as projects. However, in a functional organization model you could report directly to a line or department manager, effectively weakening your power.

So, consider the organizational hierarchy when you plan and define the governance architecture. The structure can be modified, as needed, based on the evolution and progress of the work in order to keep the project aligned with its planned goals and objectives. On a large project align your work with larger program or portfolio objectives and goals. But create or adapt a project governance model, even if you manage a very small project.

Typically, the Project Management Office (PMO) is responsible for defining and managing project related procedures, processes, and creating the templates which should be followed.

The project board is an organizational body responsible for assuring that the project goals are achieved. It provides support for having the project risks addressed appropriately and other issues as well. The board has some functions as follows:

• approving project plans and changes to the plan;

• collecting input for progress reporting;

• ensuring compliance with policies, procedures, standards and requirements

• guidance on risks and issues

• reviewing project progress

Project governance should operate in an integrated fashion of other organizations governance structure when the project is interacting with other companies. buy research papers

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