For the implementation of any efficient project, may it be in any institution or any company, a good governance process has to be employed. The projects may be either small or big. For smaller projects, this governance may be primarily driven by the efforts of any project sponsor or project manager, but for larger, more complex projects you may need to have multiple governance teams and processes to properly guide and support the project management to mitigate risks.
There are many pain points that are encountered while trying to manage a project that lacks proper and appropriate governance standards. Some of the issues are listed below:
- Inability to secure the committed allocation of required financial and people resources to deliver the project scope on time
- Inability to get those issues, actions and risks addressed and complied which have been escalated beyond the authority level of the project team
- Protracted delays, excessive effort and staff frustration in getting key decisions made or, even worse, wasted effort and schedule impacts resulting from reversed or modified decisions
- Lack of buy-in from key stakeholders
- Insufficient visibility of the project’s importance at executive levels to secure sustained funding and perceived priority
If poor governance can be the cause of such critical project failures and disasters, wouldn’t you expect to see a significant emphasis placed on this critical step?
There is no comprehensive guide for defining the right or good governance structure and process which will meet the needs of all projects as, just as with any other project management practices, these need to be tailored to the specific needs of each project and the culture of the organization in which they are being implemented.
- While project complexity as a whole drives the need for good governance, the following specific factors should be evaluated to assess the extent of governance required:
- Degree of organization impact
- Number of key, influential stakeholders who have or are likely to have significantly differing
- If multiple governance bodies are being considered, make sure that there is a clear definition of the jurisdictional boundaries of each. Without this, you may run the risk of getting a frustrated or disengaged sponsor who sees their decisions being overturned or questioned frequently. This also applies to standing governance committees within your organization structure – your proposed governance structures need to align with those as well.
A great way to establish this is through GRC tools available online, like VComply that lets you comply to both internal and external compliance in a hassle-free manner, additionally acting as project management tool that helps to achieve good and effective governance in any enterprise.
- Establish clear terms of reference for each governance body detailing the types and level of activities each is responsible for as well as the overall mandate of the group.
- Balance the desired project benefits against the administrative costs, effort & potential delays of having an overly onerous governance process. The more gates that a particular decision or action has to pass, the greater the project costs and potential for delays. After a leadership team has experienced issues of inadequate governance on one project, their tendency may be to overcompensate on the next.
Establishing the right governance structure and process is like the tale of Goldilocks – missing the mark could be “un-bearable”!
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