Monday, October 7, 2013

Project Governance – Maturity Level II

"I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it”

                                                                                                - Frank A. Clark
In my previous post, the first post in this series on governance in the project context, I introduced my arbitrary, tongue-in-cheek governance maturity level (gml) and described gml-I Chaos.  With this post, we advance to describing gml-II, the first maturity level where governance is contributing to project success.
Effective governance is external to the project (and therefore to the project team).  I’ll dwell on this more in a later post in this series, but this means that project governance cannot be performed by the project manager;  governance is someone outside the project looking at what the project manager and the project team have done.  Other requirements for the organization to be at gml-II are a project methodology, project standards, and deliverable templates, since, for governance there must be something to govern to. 

At the lowest level of mature project governance, the attention is on the project solution, the product or service , such as in the Product & Service Delivery (P&SD) organization.  Governance at this level is focused on the Executing Process Group (PMBoK v5 section 3.5) activities and the product deliverables.  Examples of project governance activities at this level include architectural reviews and stage gate reviews.
Another factor I check is how the project managers are measured and incented.  This is a topic I touched briefly a while back (How Should a Project Manager be Measured?), so I won’t dwell on it here.  Suffice it to say, though, that if the organization has a methodology and standards and the PM is not measured (and incented) based on those standards (rather than the PM Triple Constraints), then the organization is most likely still at gml-I Chaos.  After all, the organization is sending a mixed signal on whether they want the PM to follow the standards or to abandon them to deliver the product or service solution any way they want.

Governance models that describe governance maturity level II are Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) and the SEI Capability Maturity Model – Integrated (CMMI), which are both solution-focused methodologies.
In my next post, we’ll move slightly up the food chain to gml-III Consultancy, which will discuss a more advanced implementation of project governance.

Does your organization have effective project governance?  How does it stack up so far based on this description?  Do you think I’ve fairly described minimal project governance?
© 2013 Chuck Morton.  All Rights Reserved.

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