Project Management

How to Establish a Stakeholder Governance Viewpoint

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

A useful tool to identify stakeholders and establish stakeholder governance is a governance pyramid diagram. In many project-based organizations, there can be several levels of management that provide oversight to a program. Depending on the size and level of funding, the project team may have multiple stakeholders at different levels in the organization. These stakeholders also come from both functional and matrix organizations.

As a program manager, it can be difficult keeping track of all the stakeholders across the different levels of governance in the organization. Using the governance pyramid concept, a project, program or portfolio manager can easily identify the governance meetings and the appropriate representatives:


In the figure above, there are three levels to govern this sample program: Executive Sponsors, Steering Team and Core Program Team.

The Core Program Team is comprised of the day-to-day project team members that are delivering the work. Of course a project management best practice is to review project status on a weekly basis. The program status meeting represents the first layer of governance, and attendees can range from the core program team, subject matter experts providing support to the program and other resources who need to attend periodically. The key point is to identify who should attend this governance meeting. It may not …


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"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

- Voltaire