In today’s fast-changing details economy, IT project governance has emerged as one of the most crucial corporate responsibilities. The relentless pressure to innovate whilst simultaneously driving down expenses means that organisations are increasingly “betting the farm” on the effective development and deployment of new IT systems. Nevertheless, the enterprise environment now evolves so swiftly that the original assumptions on which projects had been based can often grow to be fatally undermined prior to the projects completion. With technology at the heart of most businesses, the ability to maintain tight executive and board control over such projects throughout their lifecycle has turn into a deciding factor in determining which businesses thrive and which founder. In response to this challenge, PRINCE2 project management has emerged as the world’s leading methodology for ensuring that IT projects stay on track and deliver real value.
No large scale or organization crucial project should ever be managed on a standalone basis. The want to involve and secure buy-in from functions proper across the organisation means that a project governance approach is vital. Even though project management will be the key discipline within this, project governance is broader in scope and has six interlinked objectives:
- Ensuring actual business value via project and business alignment.
- Controlling costs by way of centralisation.
- Maximising resource allocation, especially of high value resources.
- Risk management through portfolio balancing.
- Uniform application of very best practice.
- Organisational coherence.
IT decisions expose an organisation to significant risks – financial, operational and competitive – so it really is important that project governance be a concern for the board as a whole, instead of any 1 individual. The board need to insist that project risks are assessed within the organisation’s strategic preparing and risk management framework and make sure that the right investment and management decisions are made, so that competitive benefit may be enhanced and measurable business value delivered.
The board’s project governance responsibilities can be summarised as follows:
- To approve product initiation, manage the project portfolio and pull the plug on any underperforming projects.
- To create one or more non-executive board members particularly responsible for overseeing project governance. They must have independent and informed oversight of progress on all organization IT projects – including attending program (or large project) board meetings.
- To make certain clear accountability at all levels, with detailed, rigorously tested project plans based on a vital path analysis with clearly identified critical success aspects, regular milestones and “go/no go” checkpoints.
- To make sure that each project proposal contains a full organization case with a fully costed estimate that could stand up to independent audit, with clearly stated assumptions that may withstand rigorous analysis.
- To manage all IT related projects as part of a portfolio.
- To adopt and deploy a recognised project management methodology.
- To adopt a clearly defined risk management plan at programme and project level that reflects corporate level risk treatment requirements.
- To institute a monitoring framework to inform the board of progress and offer an early alert of divergence or slippage in any of the crucial success elements.
- To commit funding only on a phased basis.
- To ensure that internal audit is capable and accountable directly to the board for offering standard, timely and unambiguous reports on project progress, slippage, budget, requirements specification and top quality requirements. Where there is project divergence the board really should not release further funds until the cause of the divergence has been fully dealt with.
In choosing a project management methodology the organisation needs to choose an approach that is proper to its project objectives and development environment. By far essentially the most well-liked methodology is PRINCE2, the successor to PRINCE (Projects in Controlled Environments), which was developed by the UK Office of Government Commerce. While PRINCE was originally developed for IT projects, PRINCE2 project management has incorporated substantial feedback and is now a generic, best-practice approach for all varieties of projects. Given that its introduction in 1989, PRINCE2 project management has become widely utilized in both the public and private sectors and is now a de facto global regular.
PRINCE2 project management uses a structured methodology, which indicates managing a project in a logical and organised way, following clearly defined actions and well-understood roles and responsibilities. It perfectly matches the requirements of a project governance regime by delivering the following attributes to any project:
- A controlled and organised begin, middle and end
- Regular reviews of progress against strategy and against the organization case
- Flexible choice points
- Automatic management control of any deviations from the program
- The involvement of management and stakeholders at the right time and inside the appropriate place during the project
- Excellent communications channels between the project, project management and also the rest of the organisation.
The effectiveness of PRINCE2 project management outcomes from its four cornerstones, which define what a successfully managed project must be:
Planned: PRINCE2 has a series of processes that cover all of the activities necessary on a project from beginning up to closing down. This process-based approach gives an effortlessly tailored and scalable strategy for the management of all varieties of project. Each method is defined with its key inputs and outputs together with the distinct objectives to be achieved and activities to be carried out.
Controlled: PRINCE2 project management divides a project into manageable stages, enabling efficient control of resources and regular progress monitoring all through. The a variety of roles and responsibilities for managing a project are fully described and are adaptable to suit the size and complexity of the project as well as the skills of the organisation.
Results-driven: Project planning using PRINCE2 is product-based, which indicates the project plans are in fact focused on delivering results and aren’t simply about preparing when the a variety of activities on the project will probably be completed.
Measured: Any project utilizing PRINCE2 is driven by the company case, which describes the organisation’s justification, commitment and rationale for the deliverables or outcome. The enterprise case is frequently reviewed during the project to guarantee the organization objectives, which typically change during the lifecycle of the project, are still being met.
You will find clear reasons why PRINCE2 project management has turn out to be the world’s leading methodology. Furthermore to its greatest practice approach for the management of all project varieties, around 800 men and women per week take PRINCE2 project management examinations, with all training carried out by accredited organisations. It truly is widely utilised and popular in both public and private sectors and can easily be tailored to all varieties of projects in many diverse markets and businesses. For any organisation that is severe about managing its IT investment, PRINCE2 project management will be the natural choice.