What is project governance anyway (and how can you mess it up)?
Governance is about having good disciplines and oversight of the big picture.
It covers the make-or-break aspects of an implementation, such as establishing robust processes, monitoring the project goals and business objectives, proactively managing risks, effort and investment going into the project – and ensuring they are met. It’s a top-down approach which sits above the day-to-day milestone focus of project management. Project governance puts anything which may put the project at risk under scrutiny – from system performance to being distracted by the wrong business improvements to any external factors which may impact outcomes.
Above all, successful project governance ensures good structure, communications and alignment of stakeholders, executives, project managers and project teams.
So, what can go wrong?
- Aligning the teams at all levels: If your project vision isn’t clearly communicated, the path to success won’t be either. A failure to align your executive team with the project requirements can spell disaster through differing agendas, perspectives, and objectives.
- Lost time equals lost money and opportunity. Your project timeline can quickly derail through slow executive decision-making, approvals or a poorly defined chain of command.
- Too many chefs can (and will) spoil the broth. Without executive ownership through a well-represented steering committee and project team, you can expect a project typified by project delays, loss of opportunities and key resources, and teams working at cross purposes.