Project governance and project management are often confused but they are very different. Governance is the structure that allows for a successful project while management is about the day-to-day decision-making.
Both governance and management are important for the delivery of an effective project. Good governance creates the framework which allows for good management. Equally, poor governance can result in bad management.
In smaller organisations, there may be more overlap between these two processes. However, it is important to understand the purpose of both.
What is Project Governance?
Project governance is the structure that allows decisions to be made. It should exist as part of a wider corporate governance framework that ensures all actions are consistent and efficient. The purpose of project governance is to create clear lines of accountability, reporting and communication for any project.
The responsibility for project governance typically falls to Directors or Members of the Board. They should be involved in overseeing any project. This includes establishing policies and processes that define the outcomes of a project. They should make sure any goals line up with the objectives of the organisation.
A key role in project governance is that of the project sponsor. They are responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the project on behalf of the stakeholders. It is also important to have a steering committee that supervises the project. They act as a Board to keep the project accountable.
Project governance is important before, during and after any project. Before the start of the project, it includes the implementation of policies and processes. Everyone should know their place within the organisation and be familiar with the actions they have to take. Directors are often responsible for the delegation of roles such as the Project Manager.
During and after the project takes place, project governance is heavily related to reporting and reviewing. Directors should ensure the project is meeting its targets and on track to remain within budget. Ultimately, the main purpose of project governance is to act as a control on management.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the planning and delivery of the project itself. This involves making day-to-day decisions which ensure the plan is completed on time and within budget. Usually, a Project Manager will be appointed by the Directors of the project.
Efficient planning is crucial to project management. Any decision made by a good Project Manager should consider the budget and time constraints. They are in charge of utilising the materials and skills they have to reach a specific outcome.
As a result, it is important that the Project Manager fully understands the objectives of the project. These objectives are generally passed on from the governance team. The Project Manager is then responsible for communicating these goals to the rest of the team.
The project management structure may be more temporary than the project governance structure. While good governance is universal, good management depends on steering the company towards a specific goal.
Consequently, there is no single type of good manager. Instead, there is only the best manager for the project. They should have the perfect skills or experience for the delivery of an effective plan.
How Are Project Governance and Project Management Connected?
Although good management can exist with poor governance and vice versa, it is unlikely. Having a clear structure within your organisation ensures all the pieces are in place for effective project delivery. Strong project governance reduces unnecessary risks and liabilities.
With an appropriate governance framework, you can ensure the skills of your team are not wasted. They will understand the expectations for the project and avoid directionless work. There is no time or money lost to misunderstandings.
Both project governance and project management rely on clear lines of reporting. Communication across the organisation is key as it allows everyone to understand their role. With good governance, companies can maintain clear accountability between different aspects of the business.
Perhaps most importantly, good governance ensures a sense of consistency. Everyone involved in the project should be using the full range of their skills and experience to work towards the same end.
When governance and management work seamlessly together, business appears simple.
How Can A Board Portal Improve Your Project Governance and Project Management?
A Board portal like Convene can support your organisation in implementing good governance. Our software is designed to streamline communication across different aspects of business. The fully GDPR-compliant solution will improve the relationship between governors and managers and enhance your project delivery.
Our 24/7 support and unlimited training will help even the technophobic team members feel comfortable and confident. From crafting the meeting minutes to creating a clear audit trail, the comprehensive features can simplify your internal processes.