A successful Project Manager will have a host of best practices that they have fine-tuned over a period within their discipline. At the core, any good PM will know the multiple key skills needed to do their role. Being able to schedule tasks to manage their time and that of other’s; being able to negotiate not only with their team, but also with external influences and stakeholders. The ability to lead in a manner that your team want to follow, manage risks as well as critical thinking are also much needed traits in the day-to-day operations of a PM role.
An excellent governance strategy will know that having a strong governance plan behind every project will not only help them achieve their targets, but it will also help mitigate any un-necessary stresses that can form on running any project, not just those in the IT sector.I want to try and outline why governance and communication are of the upmost important skill for any PM to have. Below, we will explore these skills and why they are key to anyone in the role of project manager.
Firstly, let’s talk about what Project Governance is and the components that are involved. Governance is the oversight for the project that would normally align with your organisations “governance model”. With this, the Project Manager will have the structure to bring processes and the decision-making models to the project, this will enable them to ensure successful delivery of even the most complicated and risky of projects.
A governance model will contain a structure for decision making, define the roles and responsibilities for the project team, the liabilities to accomplish the tasks and actions within the project as well as helps to ensure the effectiveness of the project manager.
Here is a breakdown of the components and the factors that make up Project Governance:
- Governance Models - Based on the project’s scope, timeline, complexity, risk analysis and stakeholder identification, the organization should formulate a baseline of critical elements needed for the project governance.
- Stakeholder Identification/Engagement - In the foundation of a governance plan, you must have a clear understanding of what and who are involved within the project’s ecosystem. Stakeholders, sponsors, project team and any business owners should all be identified. If any are missed, this could cause disruption across the whole project when communicating or if any decisions are needed to be made.
- Risk and Issue Management - Every new project has its uncertainties as well as a level of unpredictability, they all carry risks and issues. You cannot always predict what could happen however you can plan and agree how these risks and issues are identified so that you can prioritise, report, and mitigate as the project moves forward. In many cases, the plan for handling the risks and issues is more important than the issue itself.
- Project Assurance - This not only sees that the risks and issues are dealt with efficiently, but it also outlines the measures that need to be in place to bring confidence in the delivery of any project.
- Project Management Control Process - Here is where the monitoring and controlling of the processes behind all the tasks and actions takes place by the Project Manager. They will need to assess the progress and the performance of the tasks as well as the team regularly so that they can take action to keep the project in line with the critical path.
With a good, solid foundation for project governance, you will go a long way in de-risking your projects and ensuring all deliverables on time to a satisfactory conclusion for all stakeholders. Whilst every IT project requires technical insights and expertise along with innovative ideas to see the tasks done; without a good project manager and an excellent governance plan you will find it hard to achieve your goals.