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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
40 Project Manager krc corner this issue’s Knowledge research Council problem-solving scenario comes from AIPM’s LinkedIn forum and addresses project governance. Project governance goals The keys To ProjecT Governance are • clear goals on what is to be achieved • the right sponsor actively involved at the right times to steer a project towards the goals a complicating issue in all this is that the goal is seldom clear at the beginning and it becomes doubly important to have the right sponsor to help interpret and reach consensus as conflicting views of the goal emerge. If you have limited time and are not near the top, my advice is to grab a project sponsor template and see if your project sponsor will sign up for it. The one I like the best is one developed originally by jed simms and adapted by the victorian department of education and early childhood development. The other bit of advice, based on resea rch done with standards australia (hB280-2006), is to try to address six key project governance questions. you can probably address these issues from any level in the organisation by constantly ask ing the dumb questions; “I ’m new around here ... can you explain ...” etc. But that won’t achieve outcomes w ill it? 6Q Governance is a tight framework and is based on empirical research (however, I have to acknowledge my bias, I developed it): 1 what are the ex pected (strategic) benefits? Two-thirds of projects have a business case, but 27 per cent of people admit they ex ag gerate to get funding. This means less than 40 per cent of projects actually have a clear idea of what they want to achieve. 2 can the benefits be realised? Generally, the project is just delivering an enabler, but process or behav ioural change is necessary to realise the benefits. change is hard, yet less than 40 per cent of projects consider the change required. why would you even start a project if there is no assessment of the size of change required and no assessment of the will to change? 3 do you have the right sponsor? Between five to 13 per cent of projects have sponsors that are accountable for the (strategic) outcomes. cra zy! 4 how will you measure success? sixty- six per cent of projects focus on ‘on-time, on-budget’. however, this is not a focus on whether the benefits will be realised (one does not automatically lead to the other). a sponsor and the team must be equally focused on the realisation of the benefits. If there is not an appropriate measure of success in place, it is not wise to even start. 5 culture – are we getting all the relevant information? studies of failure of any kind reveal that someone k new before it happened that it was going to happen. The key is to have the environment where people are prepared to raise issues and know they will be discussed. having a risk register is not enough. The key is to create a listening culture. If nothing goes wrong over an extended period of time, people are either lying or they have managed to plan for the future perfectly (how likely is that?). 6 monitoring – are we on track to realising the benefits? Less than 13 per cent of organisations track benefits through to realisation, and zero per cent have an effective way to kill projects. I believe an independent group should be established to monitor projects and give independent feedback to both the sponsor and the board. Internal audit, an external consultancy or a Pmo could perform this function. ••• Do you have a questIon? If you want to pose any questions or have the KRC seek responses to any particular project management issue or challenge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please feel free to raise any questions or issues on the AIPM LinkedIn forum. DR RAyMOND yOuNg FellOw OF ChARTeReD SeCReTARIeS AuSTRAlIA, ASSISTANT PROFeSSOR uNIveRSITy OF CANBeRRA, ADjuNCT PROFeSSOR uNIveRSITy OF SyDNey QHow do you effectively create better project governance when you're at the bottom of the ladder?
Project Manager June July 2012
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012