PMKI Index
the PMKI

Corporate/Organisational Governance

Location:  PMKI > Organisations & Governance > Corporate/Organisational Governance. 

This subject covers the creation and implementation of the organisational objectives, policies, practices and systems that are responsible for ensuring organisational resources are utilised effectively and the work of the organisation is aligned with its strategy and objectives. The concepts outlined in these papers are consistent with ISO 21505 Project, programme and portfolio management - Guidance on governance and ISO/IEC 38500:2010 Corporate governance of information technology.

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Topics included in Corporate/Organisational Governance:

- The Function of Governance and Governing
- Governance and Stakeholders
- Governance systems
- Governing the organisation's Project Delivery Capability (PDC)
- Governance failure
- Differentiating Governance and Management
- Useful external web-links

Other related sections of the PMKI:

- For more on project/program selection and prioritisation
   see Portfolio Management.

Temporary Subject List - this page is being rebuilt:

The Function of Governance and Governing: The structuring and oversight of the organisation’s governance systems and capabilities.

Governance and Stakeholders: The link between governance and stakeholders
Governance systems: The interaction between project management systems and the organisation’s overall management and governance systems.  Governing the organisation's Project Delivery Capability: The structuring and oversight of the organisation’s capability to manage its overall portfolio of projects and programs.  

Governance failure: The consequences of poor governance is poor management leading to loss of value.

  • Blg: Project or Management Failures?Defining how many project failures are caused by project management shortcomings and how many are set up to fail by the organisation’s management. 
  • Blg: Poor Governance creates complexity. Uncertainty is not the same as ambiguity – failing to manage both of these factors  increases complexity. 
  • Blg: The Capital Crime. Consequences of executive management failing to effectively ‘manage the management’ of projects and programs.   
  • Art: Why are so many projects set up to fail?   Allowing management to set unrealistic targets is at its root a governance failure.  
  • Blg: Is your steering committee costing $5000 per hour?. Effective steering committees work with the project manager and sponsor to help the project successfully navigate the organisational stakeholder environment and resist the urge to interfere in the actual running of the project or program!        

Differentiating Governance and Management: The key difference between management and governance: Governance sets the rules and objectives, management works within the 'rules' to achieve the objectives. 

Organisational Governance
Defining as accurately as possible 'what' the project has to deliver is a critical step towards a successful outcome! It goes without saying the 'what' should be aligned with and contribute to the strategic objectives of the organisation. This aspect of governance is closely aligned with portfolio management [WP1017 discusses portfolio management] and is assisted by an effective project classification system [WP1072 discusses the sizing and catagorisation of project].  

The two key questions that need to be answered before initiating a project are 'can we do it?' and 'should we do it?'. If there is any doubt about the first question a feasibility study is required, WP1027 outlines the processes involved in undertaking a Feasibility Study. The question 'should we do it' is answered by the Business Case. 
Project governance is a sub-set of the overall governance processes of the organisation. The purpose of governance is to 'to align as nearly as possible the interests of individuals, organisations and society'; this is a much higher order of objective than merely enforcing processes and procedures. WP1033discusses how processes and procedures contribute to effective governance at the organisational level (and how they can obstruct good governance); WP1073 looks at project governance and WP1084 discusses governance systems.  Three of our published papers canvass the overall issue of effective project governance:

- Paper: Effective Project Governance – A Cultural Sea Change! 
- Paper: Effective Project Governance – The Tools for Success 
- Paper: Effective Project Governance – Linking PMI’s Standards to Project Governance
The person responsible for all aspects of project or program governance from the business case through to the final delivery of value to the organisation is the 'Project Sponsor', or 'Senior Responsible Owner'. WP1031 Project Sponsorship outlines this critical role. 


Useful external web-links


Communication Training Project, Program & Portfolio Governance. This workshop will provide senior managers and others responsible for the direction and governance of projects, programs and portfolios with the resources need to be effective in this role. (view course details).

Self-paced PMP Training