Project versus Corporate Governance – The Similarities and Differences

Home / Project versus Corporate Governance – The Similarities and Differences
Project governance management includes the processes required to ensure that the various elements of the project are properly coordinated to ensure the project is delivered successfully. On the other side, corporate governance involves a set of relationships between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders. Corporate governance also provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined.

The governance of project management concerns those areas of corporate governance that are specifically related to project activities. Effective governance of project management ensures that an organisation’s project portfolio is aligned to the organisation’s objectives, is delivered efficiently and is sustainable. Governance of project management also supports the means by which the board, and other major project stakeholders, are provided with timely, relevant and reliable information.

The governance of project management is a subset of the activities involved with corporate governance. It also represents that most of the methodologies and activities involved with the day-to-day management of individual projects lie outside the direct concern of corporate governance.

The following are the relevant principles / questions asked when trying to determine what good governance of projects are: –

  • Who has the responsibly for the governance of project management
  • Are there disciplined governance arrangements in place that are supported by appropriate methods of controls that are applied throughout the project life-cycle
  • Do all major projects have competent sponsors in place
  • Ensure that the teams responsible for projects are capable of achieving the objectives that are defined at project approval points
  • checklist for information disclosure seeks to ensure that the content of project reports will provide timely, relevant and reliable information that supports the organisation’s decision making processes, without fostering a culture of micro-management.

Governance of project management is not the rigid application of a complex methodology. The best results will come from the intelligent application of principles combined with proportionate delegation of responsibility and the monitoring of internal control systems.

Based on governance requirements and on the discipline of project management, principles have been identified for governance of project management. Applying these principles would help avoid common causes of programme and project failure. Some of the common pitfall s due to a lack of appropriate governance are as follows: –

  • Lack of a clear link with key strategic priorities.
  • Lack of clear senior management and leadership.
  • Lack of effective engagement with stakeholders.
  • Lack of skills and proven approach to project and risk management.
  • Lack of understanding of, or contact with supply industry at senior levels.
  • Evaluation of proposals driven by initial price, rather than long-term value for money.
  • Too little attention to breaking down development and implementation into manageable steps.

Efficient project management requires effective delegation that allows decisions to be made at a level that is consistent with the organisation’s system for internal control. It is important for the organisation to distinguish between key drivers of success and key indicators of success; an effective reporting process will therefore include measures of both. An efficient reporting process will minimise the reporting burden throughout the organisation without compromising effectiveness.

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