Saturday, October 19, 2013

Project Governance – Maturity Level IV

The alignment of the project with stakeholders’ needs or objectives. (p30)

Project Governance: The alignment of project objectives with the strategy of the larger organization by the project sponsor and project team.  A project’s governance is defined by and is required to fit within the larger context of the program or organization sponsoring it, but is separate from organizational governance.  (p553)
                                                                                                - PMBoK v5

This is the fourth and penultimate installment of my series on project governance – or, more accurately, governance in the project context.  In the first post I introduced my arbitrary, tongue-in-cheek governance maturity level (gml) and expanded on the subject in the second and third posts.  With this post, we advance to describing gml-IV, moving beyond the strict focus on project governance.
Project governance is needed – that is, there need to be controls in place to assure project delivery according to the organization’s defined processes.  But project governance alone is not sufficient for most organizations.  Successful projects (completing projects successfully) assumes that the right and proper projects are being done.   In fact, The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) has almost no references to project governance.  All references to “governance” are either in the introductory first two chapters or are in an appendix (such as the definition, above).  As these representative quotes indicate, for PMI project governance is more about delivering the right project than about delivering the project right.  (In contrast, for Microsoft Solutions Framework, governance is strictly about delivering the solution.)

The interesting thing is, there is another accepted term for doing the right project:  project portfolio management.  But project portfolio management, like any other process or methodology, needs to be paired with a governance structure.  There need to be checks and balances, oversight, and independence.  These governance processes need to integrated with organizational governance, most appropriately around strategic planning and success.
With my next post, the final post in this series, I will introduce gml-V.  Everyone, of course, already knows that gml-V, like all good maturity models, will be about continuous improvement, what SEI CMMI calls Optimizing.  Surprise:  that isn’t what gml-V is.  So stick around, read the next post and be surprised.

You’ve read what I’ve posted on governance so far, so what would be your five governance maturity levels?  Specifically, what would you have for the highest level of project governance maturity?
© 2013 Chuck Morton.  All Rights Reserved.

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