Nailing Project Governance… Three Fire Breaker Steps for Success

So much to fix, too little transformation time – ARGH! Once that was totally true but maybe the benefits of lockdown and remote working seen in 2020 have offered some positive benefits for projects and change… the greater efficiency of remote workplace tools, the transparency of data, the greater productivity feasible and the levelling up of everyone on one platform all away from the office*. Time can be used efficiently, platforms like Microsoft Teams allow you to easily contact others and a pressing case for change is all too evident in most sectors.

Once where getting good governance was hard and project delivery commonly accepted as off track** more than on track, we now have a golden opportunity amidst the wider gloom and doom to get this fixed now.

So, what is good project governance and how can you get this in place in your organisation? If you are a project sponsor this is your short read to help you focus on the critical items and sort governance issues for your project teams to help them get project value delivered.

The good thing to know first is that you can’t have good project and programme delivery without good sponsorship – so you are key in playing an active role. Ideally you will have been involved from the beginning – but it’s not too late if you have come in later. Play an active role, provide the business context for your team, be available and supportive. Be the champion of the change and also the driver of quality. So, step 1 of good project governance is to get your sponsorship clearly and actively in place.

Step 2 get clear structure in place – the project governance framework. Now we have already written about this before and getting just enough*** in place. Why “just enough”? Because the risk here is tying your project or programme delivery team up with red tape and checks which can outweigh the risks and hinder progress. So, think light and agile but ensure there is clarity and simplicity for key areas that create value – the steering board and their roles, review and sign-off processes and the quality of people in the team. With the new tools and ways of working at our disposal there is an opportunity to challenge timelines and be nimbler in areas which often lead to delays at the cost of good governance – change decisions – for example.

Step 3 good governance is about the right information being available at the right time to make decisions and steer ahead of the project. How is your project information being produced? What are the reporting processes and how up to date is the information? As part of your sponsor role, challenge and understand the information flows – because without quality information the quality of governance is compromised. As the sponsor play the role of the critical friend and challenge and understand and push for improvements and tweaks to raise the bar. How can your projects be delivered more efficiently? What innovations can be and are being made? And how are project lessons learned being applied during the project lifecycle itself?

In summary strong governance is about providing the overall framework within which project or programme decisions are made. Any governance can seem like extra project controls so focus on the key areas as an active sponsor to drive delivery value. Raise the bar through defining and challenging standards and quality. Be there for your project leaders and focus on information as a key enabler for project decision making. In these pandemic times delivery value is more important than ever so get your governance right now, stay flexible and accessible to enable your projects to operate in an agile way and celebrate delivery successes.

We can help you get the right governance in place and show you how to ensure your projects succeed. Contact HuwJ@NineFeetTall.com

References:

*https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelfarrer/2020/02/12/top-5-benefits-of-remote-work-for-companies/

** https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/delivering-large-scale-it-projects-on-time-on-budget-and-on-value#

*** https://www.ninefeettall.com/blog/aiming-for-just-enough-when-it-comes-to-project-governance/

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