Refocusing Projects Onto Business Value, Part 12: Project Governance

Refocusing Projects Onto Business Value, Part 12: Project Governance

The Project Sponsor should have single point accountability for the success of the project. But delivery of the business outcomes, benefits, and value is the joint accountability of the Sponsor and Steering Committee (the Governance Team).

The Governance Team doesn't directly manage the project, but it is there to steer, lead, direct and control the project, the associated activities, and any other dimensions necessary to ensure the effective delivery of the available value.

Importantly, value delivery management causes the Governance Team to stop looking at the completion of the project as their measure of success, and to instead see the realization of value as success. This causes different decisions to be made when considered from a 'value delivery' basis.

With value delivery management, business decisions, scope changes, design choices, software selections, and implementation authorisations are now all made on the basis of their impact on the successful delivery of the maximum nett project value. (Most traditional scope change requests don't even mention their potential impact on the project's business value.)

The Governance team understands the relative trade-offs between time, cost, scope, and quality so it can preserve the most value.

Also, their role no longer finishes when the project is complete but when the benefits and value have been delivered — and this could be many months after the project has been closed down.

The Governance Team needs to define and agree the desired business outcomes, benefits, and value. This sets out in measurable terms what the value is, how this value will be realized, and what the business will be like at the end of the project. This is the value to be managed to, within and beyond the constraints of the project.

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Click here for the eleventh article in this the series "Refocusing Projects Onto Business Value, Part 11: Risk Management "

Click here for the first article in this the series "Refocusing Projects onto Business Value, Part I: The Need".

Jed Simms is CIO magazine's weekly project management columnist. Simms, founder of projects and benefits delivery research firm Capability Management, is also the developer of specialized project management and project governance Web site

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