Why is Project Governance Critical to Project Success?

Project Management

Project governance is an oversight function aligned with the organization’s governance model, and that encompasses the project life cycle. It provides the project manager and team with structure, processes, decision-making models and tools for managing and controlling the project while ensuring successful delivery of the project also. Project governance is a crucial element, especially for complicated and risky projects.
It defines, documents, and communicates consistent project practices to provide a comprehensive method of controlling the project and ensuring its success. It contains a framework for making decisions about the project, defines roles, responsibilities, and liabilities for the accomplishment of the project, and governs the effectiveness of the project manager.

Project Governance Components

According to PMI®, eight project governance components add value to the real world:

  1. Governance Models:

    Based on the project’s scope, timeline, complexity, risk, stakeholders, and importance to the organization, the organization should formulate a baseline of critical elements needed for project governance. There should be a primary tool that based on some of the above indicators decides what changes your governance framework needs to have and which components are compulsory.

  2. Accountability and Responsibilities:

    Defining accountability and responsibilities is the core of the project manager’s tasks. Improper distribution of accountabilities and responsibilities will have a negative impact on the effectiveness of operations of organization. While defining both the factors, the project manager not only needs to define who is accountable, but also who is responsible, consulted, and notified for each of the project’s deliverables.

  3. Stakeholder Engagement:

    While lying down the foundation of your governance plan, it is compulsory to understand the project ecosystem completely. Identifying all the stakeholders is the first step. If even one stakeholder is left out, it can disrupt the entire project and can have an adverse effect. You need to identify the stakeholders from a wide spectrum of sponsors, suppliers, the project team, government boards, business owners, and so on. The project manager has to define who the stakeholders are, what their interests and prospects are and most important, how to communicate with them.

  4. Stakeholder Communication:

    Once all the stakeholders have been recognized and their interests and expectations have been described, the project manager needs to develop a communication plan. A well-devised communication plan delivers concise, efficient, and well-timed information to all stakeholders.

  5. Meeting and Reporting:

    Once the communication plan is appropriately defined, the project manager ensures that the balance of meetings and reporting is right. It is essential to define the communication plan to ensure that each stakeholder understands the mode and content of the communication, owner, receiver, communication milestones, and decision gates. In addition, communication needs to be brief, precise and to the point.

  6. Risk and Issue Management:

    Due to uncertainties and unpredictability associated with projects or programs, they are loaded with risks and issues. It is tough to predict what is going to happen, but it is necessary as lack of preparation will put the project team much further behind. At the initiation of any project or program, there needs to be an agreement on how to identify, categorize, and prioritize the risks and issues. The tact of handling the risk or issue is more important than the issue itself.

  7. Assurance:

    Project assurance sees that risks and issues are managed efficiently and outlines the metrics that brings the delivery confidence of the project. One of the most essential components of assurance is creating the metrics that would give a view of the project performance.

  8. Project Management Control Process:

    It sounds like the simplest component but actually is most difficult to execute. The monitoring and controlling process controls tasks and metrics related to the project and measures. Also, this is not a single-time assessment; the manager needs to measure the performance regularly and take action on any deviations on-time.

Important Roles

All projects and programs have different features and mandates. They consist of many roles, but four major roles establish, maintain, and enforce project governance. Each of these roles has a different perspective of the project.

The four crucial roles are:

  • Sponsor

  • Steering committee

  • Project Management Office

  • Project manager

Conclusion: Why project governance is critical to project success

Establishing project governance is not as easy as it sounds. Considerable investment needs to be made while getting on a new project. What’s even more challenging is to quantify what benefits are associated with it. Given below are four key benefits of project governance:

  • Single point of accountability
  • Issue management and resolution
  • Information distribution and clear communication
  • Outlines roles, relationships, and responsibility among project stakeholders

Lack of proper foundation of project governance can derail even a well-devised project. While it is imperative to incorporate excellent technical insights and innovative ideas into the project, one cannot undermine the significance of good project management and governance. It helps you to put up questions and issues that were not even visible before its implementation. It is a multiple-in-one tool for project management which gives a new dimension and a touch of distinct quality to an otherwise ordinary project.

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