Why FOXit pushes the power of project governance
By Anita Potgieter, COO of FOXit.
Project governance, in the context of effective project management in business, is not a 'whipping stick', but rather an operating framework that is proven and repeatable - the type of guideline that suits the nature of project management and ensures its success in the corporate world.
Anita Potgieter, COO of FOXit, says one definition of project governance, being "the management framework within which project decisions are made", is accurate. Not to be confused with workflows, project governance serves as a guide for the way project management is applied in business.
In her synopsis of this critical component of project management, Potgieter refers to specific guidelines that reinforce project governance and strengthen the enforcement of solid project management.
First on her list is accountability. "A single point of accountability is critical to the success of a project. Without clear leadership and accountability, issues may arise that will affect all projects at some point. If there is not a person in place who will lead the project, it may also cause delays, since there is no single point of decision-making," she says.
Ownership of the project is often viewed as being critical to success. Potgieter says this is where certainty about deliverables and achieving objectives is derived.
"This person should also ensure that value for money is gained and that the agreed scope of the project is adhered to. It is also imperative to ensure internal projects maintain alignment with organisational strategy. In the services industry, projects need to be overseen from a high level and intervened when necessary," she adds.
Other key components of the guide include decision-making, roles and responsibilities, project approval, and trust - all of which combine to help form the critical framework for results-orientated project management (project management that adds measurable value as opposed to that which is conducted for the sake of technology application or simply out of habit).
Project governance may include, depending on the company, at a minimum, the following:
* A well-written statement of work (SOW) (or sales proposal, depending on the type of company), stating the objectives of the project, deliverables and timelines/pricing. Technology will unfortunately not assist in writing the SOW.
* A purchase order from the client that is centrally stored.
* Identification of all project stakeholders by using build team functionality.
* A signed-off project charter documenting what is in and out of scope.
* A signed-off requirements document.
* A project schedule that spans all project stages, from project initiation through project closure, encompassing the development life cycle.
* Appropriate amount and level of resources (could be a request to a resource manager that is workflow-controlled).
* A project management system, ie Project Server 2013, where the project schedule resides to allow for optimal assignment of resources and project tracking.
* A central document repository, project site or even a project, if there is no system in place.
* Procedures on how to manage scope.
* Project decisions that are documented in a list item on a SharePoint site.
* Using a project management solution like Project Server will allow the project team members to raise issues and risks that arise during the project. These issues and risks can be managed centrally and can roll up to a portfolio level for ease of reporting back to management.
* Workflow, to assist the organisation in ensuring each and every stage within a phase, and, ultimately, the project life cycle, will be adhered to.
Says Potgieter: "The way project governance is perceived has a direct bearing on how successful project management occurs and, ultimately, how successful projects are executed and applied."