When a business is engaged in a project, whether it be design or an implementation of something, alignment of the decisions being made throughout is important. Important and aligned decision-making can easily affect the outcome of the project positively or negatively.
This is where IT project governance comes in; project governance is the managing framework in which project decisions are made. This is actually a very critical element of any and all projects; this governance should be local and repeatable. This helps to give the organization a structured approach to not only the project, but that of other business activities.
IT project governance for your business can help with overall management within several different aspects of your business. IT project governance uses structure, people, and information to carry out the result.
• Structure – the structure for governance should include a committee with various stakeholders and user groups.
• People – as with any business, the people are involved in the company. The membership of the committee is sometimes defined by the current project and its nature, which in turn can decide on the actually roles that the organization needs to be represented.
• Information – information is vital to that of the project as well as the decisions that are involved with it. The information gathered helps to tell the decision makers of what is happening with the project; this includes everything from issues and any risks that may be involved. These are usually detailed within a project report that has been written by the project manager.
One of the core principles for project governance is making sure that there is a single point of accountability and that is there a clear definition of leadership. Leadership within the project is essential to make sure that there’s a driving force for the project, as well as having someone to understand issues, as well as solving those issues when they arise.
There is also the principle for project ownership. This is usually delegated to that of the service owner, the person who has the goal of providing certainty that the last project will meet the owner’s expectations and final goals.
A third and important aspect for project governance is maintaining a separation between that of the project decision making and stakeholder management, as well as separating governance between the project and the organization. Having these things as two separate entities ensures that all ideas and decisions are allowed to be spoken and discussed.
Often times, when these two groups merge, the possibility of clogging up the decision process can cause the project to suffer; no one is able to make their point with so many people trying to discuss certain aspects, but some of the group members may not understand some of the principles involved in the project.
Overall, IT project governance helps to give a clear idea and course to a project. This allows for a clear direction as to where the project is going and what needs to be done for achievement. Governance helps create alignment between projects and business.
David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.