Project governance ensures practical project communication, which is critical to successful project delivery. Strategic governance is critical to successful project management. It is the last resort to resolving unresolved issues, particularly roles and responsibilities, at every organizational level. Project governance is vital to ensure well defined roles and responsibilities, leadership discipline, exercise some level of control and provide support to ensure project success. A practical project governance model is show in Figure 35. In most cases, the sponsor or his/her delegate leads the steering committee.
Figure 35 – Project Governance
‘The primary safeguards against abuses of power in an organization are character, humility and judgement’6.
Take note of the following regarding project governance:
- Organization culture that does not comprehend, practice or have the leadership discipline of project management, usually undervalue the role of a project manager. A project manager may have some challenges in this type of organization. However, you can still deliver successful projects through your effective leadership, courage and good judgment. Though it could be sometime at a cost to you; regardless, you have to make your choice. You need to weigh your options – to be more of a professional and less political or become a push over.
- As a project manager, regardless of the organization culture, encourage the executives to acknowledge the formal establishment of governance for each project. It should be clearly defined and respected to facilitate an effective project team (high relationship and high result team).
- Have clearly defined responsibilities for the sponsor, the champion (an industry enthusiast or ‘god-father’) and the steering committee. The steering committee helps to create a green field and settled water to ensure the success of the project.
- Successful communication depends on a practical project governance.