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Project Governance Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

Project governance is the management framework within which project decisions are made. Project governance is a critical element of any project since while the accountabilities and responsibilities associated with an organisation’s business as usual activities are laid down in their organisational governance arrangements, seldom does an equivalent framework exist to govern the development of project’s capital investments ( Sharma, Stone and Ekinci 2009 ). Project Governance extends the principle of Governance into both the management of individual projects via Governance structures, and the management of projects at the business level, for example via Business Reviews of Projects. Today, ...view middle of the document...

Committee membership is determined by the nature of the project whereas other factors come into play when determining membership of programme and portfolio board which in turn determines which organisational roles should be represented on the committee.

3. Information: This concerns the information that informs decision makers and consists of regular reports on the project, issues and risks that have been escalated by the Project Manager and certain key documents that describe the project, foremost of which is the business case.

Project governance frameworks should be based around a number of core principles in order to ensure their effectiveness. Garland (2009) says, there are four important principles that derive the project governance structure:

1. Principle 1- Ensure a single point of accountability for the success of the project: The most fundamental project accountability is accountability for the success of the project. A project without a clear understanding of who assumes accountability for its success has no clear leadership. With no clear accountability for project success, there is no one person driving the solution of the difficult issues that beset all projects at some point in their life.

2. Principle 2 - Service delivery ownership determines project ownership: Organisations deliver services and utilise assets as platforms for the delivery of these services. It is therefore critical that the assets delivered by the project meet the service delivery needs of the organisation. If the project outputs do not support service delivery needs, as detailed in the business case, to be met in full, the project has to some degree failed – it has not achieved optimum value for money.

3. Principle 3 - Ensure separation of stakeholder management and project decision making activities: The decision making effectiveness of a committee can be thought of as being inversely proportional to its size. Not only can large committees fail to make timely decisions, those it does make are often ill considered because of the particular group dynamics at play. There is always the concern that this solution will lead to a further problem if disgruntled stakeholders do not consider their needs are being met. Whatever stakeholder management mechanism that is put in place must adequately address the needs of all project stakeholders.

4. Principle 4 - Ensure separation of project governance and organisational governance structures: Project governance structures are established precisely because it is recognised that organisation structures do not provide the necessary framework to deliver a project. Projects require flexibility and speed of decision making and the hierarchical mechanisms associated with organisation charts do not enable this. Project governance structures overcome this by drawing the key decision makers out of the organisation structure and placing them in a forum thereby avoiding the serial decision making process...

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