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What is Project Governance?

> Project Governance is the set of rules, procedures and policies that determine how projects are managed and overseen.

These rules and procedures define how decisions are made during projects. As part of the oversight process, project governance also determines the metrics by which project success is measured.

The PMO usually is the department within an organization that is responsible for setting up and defining the project governance framework.

Project Governance Framework

There is no one-size-fits all project governance structure that can be used by all companies. However, there essential components of good project governance that all companies should address when creating their project governance framework.

Project Governance Components

There are two essential components of all project governance: processes and data. Processes are how you do things and data is the information you use. The key to a good project governance framework is to standardize, integrate and systemize these two areas.

Learn More: Project Governance Made Simple Infographic

Project Processes

A good project governance framework should define how you manage the entire project lifecycle.

  • Standardize Processes. Standardize project processes around best practices and do things consistently across the organization. Most companies today lack discipline in project processes. Projects are managed differently depending on who is involved. Standardization of processes is critical to measuring success and scale.
  • Integrate Processes. Integrate your project processes to unify workflows and align your operations. Today, most projects have a multitude of processes that do not interact. For example, managing project costs is typically done in a separate system devoid of any attachment to the current project schedule.
  • Systemize Processes. By taking standard processes and integrating them into a system, you enforce best practices, foster transparency, and build accountability across project teams.

Project Data

In most organizations, project data is scattered across disparate systems. Moreover, different managers use different data to make decisions. That is why you want to standardize, integrate, and systemize your project data.

  • Standardize Data. You want to standardize your project data to get consistent metrics that you can use to measure performance reliably across your portfolio and the organization.
  • Integrate Data. Integrating your project data creates a single source of truth that everyone can rely on.
  • Systemize Data. By standardizing and integrating your data into one system, you create trusted, real-time insight on a project, portfolio, and company level that can be used to make better decisions.

Other Project Governance Elements

You may see other project governance content that address the minutia of project management. For example, who should know what type of information when. Yes, this is important. But if you standardize, integrate, and systemize your processes and data into one project business system, you can eliminate the need to define every single detail. The system will do it for you.

For example, as part of Adeaca Project Business Automation, Project Autopilot is a 24/7 oversight alarm for our projects. It monitors every single aspect of your projects and alerts the appropriate stakeholders of any issues. Based on the type of problem and severity, different stakeholders are notified. With this type of system, you can start to manage projects by exception.

Learn more about Project Business Automation (PBA). Download the PBA Quick Guide now.

Project Governance Model

To ensure the success of projects, they must be set up correctly from the beginning. Many of the problems that occur downstream in a project can be avoided with the right structure up front.

As an example, many projects today are sold with unrealistic timelines and cost estimates. Then, later when the real costs and schedules come in, customers / project owners are rightfully unhappy.

The best way to ensure success is to accurately estimate the costs and schedule up front. How do you do that? You must model your projects so that they can be assembled quickly from curated components that reflect accurate timelines and costs. This process is called Project Modeling, and it is a key component of proper project governance.

You need to govern how a project is initiated to ensure its success when it closes. Project modeling improves the sales process, reduces rework, and strengthens project governance throughout the rest of the project.

Download the Project Modeling Whitepaper to learn how to create a streamlined and controlled planning and estimating process for your company.