Development of a Project Management Methodology

PROJECT GOVERNANCE Most companies begin the journey to excellence with the development of a project management methodology. The purpose of the methodology is not only to provide a road map of how to proceed but also to provide the PM with necessary and timely information for decision‐making. Decision‐making requires some form of governance, and too often this need for governance is discovered late in the journey toward excellence. A methodology is a series of processes, activities, and tools that are part of a specific discipline, such as project management, and designed to accomplish a specific objective. When the products, services, or customers have similar requirements and do not require significant customization, companies develop methodologies to provide some degree of consistency in the way that projects are managed. These types of methodologies are often based on rigid policies and procedures. As companies become reasonably mature in project management, the policies and procedures are replaced by forms, guidelines, templates, and checklists. These provide the PM more flexibility in how to apply the methodology to satisfy a specific customer’s requirements and lead to a more informal application of the project management methodology. Today, we refer to this informal project management approach as a framework. A framework is a basic conceptual structure that is used to address an issue, such as a project. It includes a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and processes that provide the PM with a means for viewing what is needed to satisfy a customer’s requirements. A framework is a skeleton support structure for building the project’s deliverables. Frameworks work well as long as the project’s requirements do not impose severe pressure on the PM. Unfortunately, in today’s chaotic environments, this pressure appears to be increasing because: Customers are demanding low‐volume, high‐quality products with some degree of customization. Project life cycles and new product development times are being compressed. Enterprise environmental factors are having a greater impact on project execution. Customers and stakeholders want to be more actively involved in the execution of projects. Companies are developing strategic partnerships with suppliers, and each supplier can be at a different level of project management maturity. Global competition has forced companies to accept projects from customers that are all at a different level of project management maturity. These pressures tend to slow down the decision‐making processes at a time when stakeholders want the processes to be accelerated. This slowdown is the result of: The PM being expected to make decisions in areas where he or she has limited knowledge. The PM hesitating to accept full accountability and ownership of projects. Excessive layers of management being superimposed on top of the PMO. Risk management being pushed up to higher levels in the organization hierarchy. The PM demonstrating questionable leadership ability. These problems can be resolved using effective project governance. Project governance is actually a framework by which decisions are made. Governance relates to decisions that define expectations, accountability, responsibility, the granting of power, or verifying performance. Governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies and processes, and decision‐making rights for a given area of responsibility. Governance enables efficient and effective decision‐making to take place. Every project can have different governance even if each project uses the same EPM methodology. The governance function can operate as a separate process or as part of project management leadership. Governance is designed not to replace project decision‐making but to prevent undesirable decisions from being made. Historically, governance was provided by the project sponsor. Today, governance is most frequently by committee. Membership of the committee can change from project to project and industry to industry. Membership may also vary based on the number of stakeholders and whether the project is for an internal or external client.

Kerzner, Harold. Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence (pp. 174-175). Wiley. Kindle Edition. GOVERNANCE OF PORTFOLIOS, PROGRAMS, AND PROJECTS The Governance of Portfolios, Programs, and Projects: A Practice Guide [10] describes a common governance framework aligning organizational project management (OPM) and portfolio, program, and project management. The practice guide describes four governance domains of alignment, risk, performance, and communications. Each domain has the following functions: oversight, control, integration, and decision making. Each function has governance supporting processes and activities for stand-alone projects, or projects operating within the portfolio or program environments. Project governance refers to the framework, functions, and processes that guide project management activities in order to create a unique product, service, or result to meet organizational, strategic, and operational goals. There is no one governance framework that is effective in all organizations. A governance framework should be tailored to the organizational culture, types of projects, and the needs of the organization in order to be effective. For more information regarding project governance, including its implementation, see Governance of Portfolios, Programs, and Projects: A Practice Guide [10].

Project Management Institute. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)–Sixth Edition (p. 44). Project Management Institute. Kindle Edition.

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