What is Governance? Part 1

What is governance? What is Project Governance? What is Project Management Governance? These are questions we answer in this article and the next two.


“The complexity of governance is difficult to capture in a simple definition.Governance

The need for governance exists anytime a group of people come together to accomplish an end. Though the governance literature proposes several definitions, most rest on three dimensions: authority, decision-making and accountability. At the Institute, our working definition of governance reflects these dimensions:

Governance determines who has power, who makes decisions, how other players make their voice heard and how account is rendered.

Ultimately, the application of good governance serves to realize organizational and societal goals.” (Defining Governance, 2015)

Project Management Governance

The Project Management Wisdom is a website run by Mr. R. Max Wideman, a project management thought leader with a long history of serving project management. On that site, project management governance is addressed and an article list four components of project management governance; these are:

  1. “Key Questions Pertaining to Portfolio Direction
  2. Key Questions Pertaining to Project Sponsorship
  3. Key Questions Pertaining to Project Management
  4. Key Questions Pertaining to Disclosure and Reporting”

Each of the above set has a few questions. For further reading please visit the site; (Wideman, 2015)[1].

Some of the questions pertaining to project management are (from same source)[2]:

  1. “Do all projects have clear critical success criteria and are they used to inform decision-making?
  2. Is the organization satisfied that its project management processes and tools are appropriate for its projects?
  3. Do the people responsible for project delivery, the project managers, have clear mandates, sufficiently competent, and the capacity to achieve satisfactory project outcomes?
  4. Are key governance of project management roles and responsibilities clear and in place?
  5. Are appropriate policies in place for issue, change and risk management practices?
  6. Are project contingencies estimated and controlled in accordance with delegated powers?”

[1] http://www.maxwideman.com/papers/governance/components.htm

[2] The Italics font is to indicated quoted references

This article is from our upcoming book. The book is about simulation on the application of a large and complex, capital-intensive project. The article is part 1 of 3, from the Governance Chapter in the book.