Describe the term project governance and explain four of the principles of project governance
Project governance is how an organisation manages the portfolio of projects and programmes that it has running. It fills the potential void between the project environment and that of the board of the organisation so that the elements of corporate governance can be executed within the project environment. This ensures that the organisation’s projects are managed and controlled in a predetermined manner.
The four principles of project governance included:
- Portfolio Direction – This principle looks at how the organisation organises its projects and programmes by ultimately trying to bind them into one portfolio. This is the process of either removing or adding projects to suit the organisation’s needs. An example of this is implementing a plan which outlines the gate reviews that need to be carried out to review the business case, and where approvals and any other decisions are recorded. This process is carried out to ensure the business case still provides the benefits and is feasible to achieve.
- Disclosure and reporting – This principle is in place to ensure that decisions are based on accurate data so that the portfolio is governed correctly. It concerns the need to be open and honest with regards to how projects and programmes are progressing. An example of this is the monthly progress reports that the project manager provides to senior management. They should be able to feel that they can report on a true reflection without a blame culture being adopted.
- Project sponsorship – This looks at the linkage between the project and the benefits to the organisation. The organisation needs to ensure that the communication level is effective from the steering group through the levels of the business down to the project manager. An example of this is having regular project updates where all the stakeholders are involved so a constant cycle of communication is executed. This ensures that the deliverables are being targeted by all.
- Project management capability – This principle is to ensure suitably qualified and capable people are managing the projects and programmes. An organisation has to remain in control of their resources and teams to ensure the best performance. For example, when an organisation is appointing roles and responsibilities, they must ensure that the individual has gained the experience and level of authority required to execute the role in a competent manner.