Project Management

Voices on Project Management

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Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

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Cameron McGaughy
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Recent Posts

The Power of Agile Team Cohesion

What Qualities Do the Best Project Managers Have?

The Power of Pauses and Silence

3 Agile Disconnects We Need to Address

What to Expect: Anticipating and Adapting to Dynamic Economic Trends


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Governance Models: The Secret to Successful Agile Projects

By Soma Bhattacharya

Everyone associates stand-ups and retrospectives with the agile way of doing things. Yet very few
give credit to the governance model that needs to be set up to ensure things are working. This isn’t
just about keeping the project running, but also to ensure:

1. Alignment with objectives: A well-thought-out governance model aligns with the project’s goals,
expectations and outcomes. A good way to look at the objectives and their success is to compare the
planned versus delivered features on a quarterly basis. Conduct retrospectives at the project level on
the spillovers, misses and root cause analysis for defects coming in—and what can be done to ensure
the objectives are still met. 

2. Decision making: When there’s clarity built into the governance model, it helps enable quick
decisions that are required in the everchanging market (often with shifting priorities) to deliver a
project. This can range from the prioritization required for “big room” planning when a new quarter
starts, or decisions for the sales and marketing of the product (and what the minimum viable product

3. Risk management: When potential issues need addressing or help from stakeholders, the
governance model helps with risk management, too. During most regular meetings that are set up
over the period of the project, risk management issues are brought up and resolved to ensure the
project is still on schedule. These are very high-level, complex risks that would need the interference
of the stakeholders to get things done. This could mean bringing in a new vendor, looking into SLAs
or simply bringing in new teams and budget approvals to get something done.

4. Resource allocation: To deliver a high-quality product, resource allocation is essential—in
particular, “getting the right ones” from across teams in the organization. While adding more team
members might need to go through approvals with project stakeholders and sponsors, resource
allocation could also entail temporarily moving teams from one product to another to get things
moving and to maintain timelines.

5. Stakeholder engagement: The governance model defines the roles and responsibilities of the
project and allows for better communication and collaboration among stakeholders. This could range
from multiple ways of sharing the governance updates (like formal emails and reports), to the sharing
of a tool dashboard (to give an overview that anyone can look into at any point in time). What this
ensures is the right level of engagement can be requested based on the requirements.

6. Performance monitoring: This can include key performance metrics, ensuring the data is
available to make the decisions, and also to look at continuous improvements. Most teams and
projects these days have tools and dashboards that are automated and generate the required
performance reports. The reports can be made specific based on what information needs to be
dispersed—from delegations to check-ins, everything can be made available to monitor project

What does your team or project do when defining the governance model?

Posted by Soma Bhattacharya on: January 18, 2024 10:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)