Governance: The Role of Roles

Craig is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has worked with for the last six years developing the various HEADWAY processes (Project, Change and Portfolio). He has hosted a series of webinars and is a business intelligence subject matter expert.

How many people on your projects understand the specific roles and responsibilities that are assigned to them? If they don't understand their role, how can they provide your projects with the required governance? A huge challenge in many organizations is that they fail to define a governance structure that includes the necessary measures to be practical. An effective governance structure needs to have well-defined roles and responsibilities that are understood and adopted. Without it, governance is a hollow shell.

Let's first cover what I mean by governance. Project governance is a relatively new term that was born out of the need for increased corporate governance. This need for corporate governance has been driven by some of the dramatic business failures over the last 20 years. The term has only begun to be used in many organizations in relation to projects. Given its relative infancy, it is understandable that the term "governance" is not well defined or not used at all. This is beginning to change as the governance wave continues to wash over organizations, projects and the project management community.

Simply put, project governance refers to the decision-making structures, checkpoints and the roles and associated responsibilities that direct the oversight of projects in an organization. The right projects are initiated at the right time, …

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