Organizational Governance and Project Governance

Organizational Governance and Project Governance

As you know, if we want to run any system we always need some policies, some procedures, structure of administration and but, this is not enough. We also need few standards and requirements for references and to be followed. Running a system, I mean to say any organization or even a department of national or state level government cannot be fulfilled by without establishing policies, procedures, standards and requirements. In other words, we can call it governance. The Governance to run an organization is called Organization Governance whereas the framework within which project work is performed in the organization is called Project Governance. We’ll discuss about Organization Governance and Project Governance later in this article.


Organization Governance

As far as organization governance is concerned, it refers to overall structure of an organization and it involves policies and procedures, how will the organization run and perform to meet their strategic goals. A group of people that has the authority to exercise governance over an organization is called governing body. In case of organization, governing body is a board of directors.

There are two types of standards and requirements which affect any organization and those are external and internal.


Responsibility of a board of directors

A board of directors are responsible to ensure that organization should follow external (government or regulatory) and internal standards and requirements along with achieving the high level strategic goals.

Internal requirements are such guidelines, policies and procedures which must be followed in the organization to run portfolio, program and project work to deliver specific benefits or values within strategic plan of organization.

Every organization is different

Every organization has different strategies, external and internal standards & requirements therefore different organizations have their own governance to support specific culture, organization’s attributes and code of conduct.


Project Governance

Project Governance is used quite loosely in the project management community. It is also called many times that whenever project fails; project governance seems to be the root cause of unsuccessfully executed project. Now the question is that what is Project Governance?

Project Governance includes the framework within which project work is performed in the organization. In easy words, we can say, it entails all the key elements that make a project successful.

Project governance is an “oversight function that is aligned with the organization’s governance model and encompasses the project life cycle,” according to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)


Image source: Project Management Institute (PMI)

Eight key components of project and program governance

Below are some basic questions that cover the eight key components of project and program governance:

  • Governance Model: To clarify the existing governance model, what are the gaps and what is currently working?
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Risk Assessment: What is your role and how do you communicate status updates, risks and changes?
  • Stakeholder Expectations: What do you consider success for the project/program?
  • Roles and Responsibilities: What is your current role and what are you accountable for?
  • Risk Assessment: What are the key challenges and how are they communicated and addressed?
  • Meetings and Reporting: What meetings do you chair and participate in? What reports are you responsible for, do you need to review, that are missing and that you find obsolete?
  • Assurance: How are you tracking in accordance with the project charter and baseline project management plan?
  • Project Management Control and Roles and Responsibilities: What project metrics are you accountable for, do you have an interest in and do you monitor?

Above questions were supposed to be thought provoking and lead to longer detailed discussions. Asking these questions enabled me to form the baseline governance framework.

Project Governance involves creation and enforcement of policies and processes regarding project management knowledge areas like scope, schedule, cost, resource, quality, communications, risks, procurement, stakeholders and change management. Project Governance can be established and administered by Project Management Office (PMO).

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About Author

Satyendra Mishra

Project Management Professional (PMP) and Microsoft certified, motivated, energetic and accomplished Project Manager / Architect with 15+ years of work experience in Management, Architecture, Analytics, Development and Maintenance. I have been fortunate to be a part of over 25+ .Net / SharePoint projects delivery with various companies across different industry sectors. This has provided me a valuable insight and experience especially in successful implementation of SharePoint based solutions.

My experience in Web application implementation includes technology strategy and road-map definition, business and technical requirements identification, governance, platform architecture, solution design, configuration, development, quality assurance, training, post-production support, team lead and overall project delivery along with project management.

Satyendra Mishra holds a B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering and PG Diploma in Advance Computing from Center for Development and Advance Computing, Pune, India. He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

I love to share Project Management Tips and Tricks by writing Blogs in the Project Management India Community. I have written around 300+ articles in the Project Management, .Net, SharePoint and related client side technologies.

Project Management