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The importance of governance structures in project delivery

The importance of governance structures in project delivery

For organisations with complex environments or where multiple stakeholders and variables are involved, it becomes essential to have a defined project management structure. This is where governance can be vital for a clear vision.  Governance structures within project management serve as the backbone for overseeing projects efficiently and effectively.

Governance can feel daunting and often the less exciting aspect of project management. However, taking time to consider governance in project delivery can significantly enhance project outcomes.

Key components of governance structures

What is governance?

Governance in project management refers to the framework of rules, practices, and processes used to direct and control an organisation and its projects. It establishes the decision-making process, accountability, and oversight mechanisms necessary to ensure the successful completion of projects.

Key components of a governance structure include:

  • Governance framework: The overarching system that outlines the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders
  • Policies and procedures: Specific guidelines that dictate how projects should be managed and monitored
  • Roles and responsibilities: Clearly defined roles for project stakeholders, ensuring everyone knows what is expected of them
  • Reporting and communication channels: Efficient systems for communication and reporting that keep all stakeholders informed

The importance of governance

Governance structures are crucial because they provide a systematic approach to managing projects. They ensure clarity in decision-making, enhance transparency, and promote a culture of accountability.

Effective governance helps align projects with an organisation’s strategic objectives, manage risks, and optimise resource allocation.

 

How to implement an effective governance structure

Review current frameworks

The first step in optimising governance structures is to assess the current framework critically. Identify any gaps in roles, responsibilities, or communication that could hinder effective governance.

Tailoring governance to your project needs

No one-size-fits-all model exists for project governance; it should be tailored to the specific needs and complexities of each project. Consider factors such as project size, strategic importance, risk levels, and stakeholder diversity.

Training and support

Stakeholders should be adequately trained on the governance processes and systems. Regular training and support ensure that everyone understands their role within the governance framework and is equipped to fulfil their responsibilities effectively.

Continuous improvement

Governance structures should be dynamic, evolving with organisational needs and external changes. Regular reviews of the governance processes and structures can help identify areas for improvement and adapt to new challenges.

Benefits of governance structures

There are many benefits to implementing a governance structure for your project team, including:

  • Enhanced decision making: With a robust governance structure, decision-making becomes more streamlined and informed. Stakeholders have clear guidance on their roles and the procedures to follow, which reduces confusion and speeds up the process of making critical decisions
  • Improved risk management: Projects often face unforeseen issues and risks. Governance structures provide frameworks for systematically identifying, assessing, and responding to risks. This proactive approach helps in mitigating potential setbacks and ensures project resilience
  • Increased project transparency: Transparency is vital for building trust among project stakeholders. Governance frameworks facilitate transparency by defining how information is reported and shared. Regular updates and open lines of communication ensure that all parties are aware of project progress and any challenges encountered
  • Alignment with organisational goals: Effective governance ensures that every project aligns with the organisation's broader strategic goals. This alignment is crucial for achieving long-term success and maximising the return on investment from project initiatives

Implementing governance into your projects

Governance structures are not merely administrative tools but strategic enablers in project management. They provide the necessary framework to guide, control, and oversee projects effectively.

By investing in strong governance structures, it is possible to enhance project delivery capabilities, achieve strategic alignment, and realise their project goals. Training in PRINCE2® can provide a clear structure, processes, and methodology for implementing effective project governance.

Find out more by exploring our PRINCE2 courses.