To control and operate any organisation policies, procedures and processes are used to direct and control operations and ensure outcomes are met. Project Governance is a framework made up of certain corporate governance functions and practices that have been tailored to the Portfolio, Program or Project requirements. It seems like a simple concept however in most project audits you will see at least one finding on governance failure or risk where governance processes and controls were not evident or deemed effective enough.
The internet is littered with examples of project governance frameworks or structures as well as case studies on where project governance failed so we won’t spend more time going back over that well-trodden path. Instead we’ll focus on some key governance concepts that, if followed, can set up your project for success. Don’t forget – Project governance processes, like any process, require iterative improvement over time so don’t just ‘set and forget’ during the early stages of the project lifecycle.
Processes, roles and responsibilities
Project Governance is a framework of interrelated processes that are run during a project lifecycle. However, importantly it is also a structure of roles with responsibilities to facilitate, oversee or complete steps within these processes.
Risk and Controls
All projects have an inherent risk which, with the effective use of controls, can be reduced to a residual risk which is within appetite. Given most projects have a moderate too high (or even extreme) inherent risk, think of Project governance as the integrated processes and controls that can mitigate the risk and better assure the outcome. These concepts are important when we look at risk management and, most importantly being audit ready (which will be covered in a separate topic).