Quiz your project manager and your project steering committee about the roots of project steering committee problems and it's likely to rapidly become clear that the two see the project management process through very different eyes.
But take a look at the issues likely to be canvassed by both sides and you stand a good chance of seeing the emergence of a common theme: Its lack of clarity regarding the role of the project steering committee which is harming many projects, according to a new Management Briefing Paper from IBRS.
It's become commonplace to sheet the cause of IT project failure home to lack of senior management ownership and leadership. (And what could be fairer? That way everyone at the top can share a piece of the blame.) For instance Butler Group released a study last year clearly demonstrating how most organizations are failing when it comes to effective IT governance - a failure which is in turn "perpetuating the chronic failure rate of IT-enabled business projects, and seriously impairing the achievement of business value". Butler's research shows most IT governance initiatives are deployed solely within the IT department and take little or no account of broader requirements of alignment with business objectives. The result is lack of coordination between the IT-led elements of projects and management of the associated business change.
Butler Group notes that other effects of poor IT governance include increased costs due to the inefficiencies of short-term, tactical IT deployments, unproductive use of human resources and IT assets, and the potential risk of breaching data security and regulatory compliance requirements.
What the IBRS research shows is that this failure of leadership frequently manifests first in problems in the deliberations of the project's steering committee.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.