The importance of project governance has risen steadily as the repercussions of project failure have increased. Project governance focuses on those steps where greater care and attention will reduce the risk of poor project performance.
Successful project governance starts with a carefully thought out authorisation process, to ensure that the following aspects of the project are clearly understood before the projects starts.
- Resource management. If a project does not have sufficent levels of appropriately skilled staff assigned, it is doomed to delay. Effective resource management is critical for good governance.
- Project scope. The project team need to have a clear understanding and agreement with the client on the scope of the project. Any grey areas should be clarified before budgets and timescales are agreed.
- Risks. Potential risks should be logged and steps taken up front to reduce their likelihood and impact. Client involvement in such risk mitigation will help work through the issues that do arise.
- Deliverables. These should be documented as part of the project scope and key deliverables should be clearly identified as milestones within the project plan. The work breakdown structure should organize the tasks that are required for each milestone.
- Stakeholder roles and responsibilities. It is important that roles such as project and resource managers are clearly defined and understood. The ability to track the progress of resource requests, for example, improves project governance.
Authorization is the first step in project governance and should ensure that sign off by the key stakeholders is achieved, before any major spend is committed too. However, investing in a feasibility study or some prototyping work can pay big dividends, particularly if it focuses on the known risks.
Once the project is underway, project tracking and performance measurement are required. Early warning of poor performance gives time for corrective action to have an impact. It’s no use only finding out halfway through that completion dates or costs are likely to be unacceptable.
How Innate helps with Project Governance
Innate resource management software provides effective support for project governance through the project authorization process and with project performance measurement.
- The status of project authorization can be tracked and reported on in each stake holder’s home page; these are updated with each person’s required actions as a project steps through authorization.
- Where a budget for feasibility or prototyping work is agreed, spend can be tracked with Innate Timesheets and reports highlight projects where the budgets are close to being used up.
- Project authorization develops the project budget and plan. Innate checks that there is sufficient skills capacity to meet the key dates, and tracks the resource request and allocation process.
- As work gets underway, Innate Timesheets track actual spend and remaining work at the task level. Variance analysis highlights projects with unacceptable deviances from the expected performance.
- For such projects, the estimate to completion can be updated and compared with the project budget, from day 1. This predicts unacceptable outcomes in time for effective action to get the project back on track.
Project governance provides the framework for successful project execution. Innate resource management software enables effective project governance.