Project Governance Part 3: Project Governance as Facilitation

The project team should be clear and specific as to who or what skills they need

The project team cannot make everything happen on its own; it often has to rely on the position, power and persuasion of the governance team.

The governance team usually is of senior rank and crosses organizational boundaries into the areas that the project impacts the most.

It can, therefore, often make things happen that the project manager or team do not have the authority to do.

The project team should expect the governance team to facilitate the release or availability of resources for the project when and for as long as required. However, the project team should be clear and specific as to who or what skills they need.

Governance teams often don’t appreciate that whom they put on a project will directly determine the outcomes.

They should also facilitate the removal of obstacles. Often a problem the project manager will take weeks to resolve can be fixed immediately by a governance team member’s phone call.

They should facilitate access to expert resources, whether internal or external, as needed to ensure the success of the project. Their purchasing power is often greater than that of the project team.

And, they also need to facilitate the learning from the project — what did we do well, and what could we do better? A key accountability of all governance roles is the progressive and continuous improvement in the organization’s project delivery capability.

Effective facilitation is rarely an onerous task on the part of the governance team, but its impact on the project’s velocity and success can be significant (as can be seen when it doesn’t happen!!)

How does your governance process compare? Tell me

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

To read Jed Simms’ previous 7-part series on developing a business case click here.

For previous project management articles by Jed Simms visit Project Governance Part 1: Non-understood Project Governance, Project Governance Part 2: Project Governance as Leadership, How Do You Know if Your PMO is Successful, "PMO: What’s In A Name?" and “The Self Evident Truths of Project Management”.