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Insight Newsletter

Insight Newsletter Archive


INSIGHT Newsletters

Our INSIGHT newsletters share seasoned advice and fresh insights about many project management topics. We invite you to spend some time learning more about how to make your projects a success.

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Insight from Peritius
Go beyond strategy. Deliver results with Peritius.
March 2012

Dear Colleague:

Governance, by definition, is the act of governing. There are multiple forms of government and, therefore, multiple ways to govern: totalitarianism, democracy, or maybe total chaos with no true governance body. Translate those concepts into your workplace, and it becomes obvious why defining an effective governance model can be challenging.

Too often, governance models that are created for projects can end up being "for show." In this month's INSIGHT newsletter, Lisa Pollard takes on that challenge of defining the requirements of a strong, lasting governance model for projects or project portfolios.

We also want to welcome Cara Judy, our new VP of Operations. Cara will be helping Peritius to maintain and improve our standards for quality at our clients as we continue to grow.

For help in navigating the rough waters of creating a governance model for your organization, contact Peritius Consulting at 847-808-9999, or


Best regards,


Laura Dribin Werner
President & CEO
Peritius Consulting, Inc.

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On October 1, 2010, Integrated Systems Management became Peritius Consulting.

Effective Project Governance

By Lisa Pollard
Senior Manager


Decisions Decisions are made every day on projects. Each decision invariably has a significant impact on the related initiative, the project team, and the broader organization. Ideally, giving the project leader and team clear direction on objectives, establishing priorities on scope, schedule, and resources, and establishing success criteria provides the team with the ammunition to make the regular tradeoff decisions throughout execution.

Teams are frequently presented with decisions or conflicts that cannot be resolved within the project team. These decisions need to be made by informed and engaged individuals in a timely manner to meet the project objectives. Too often, project teams get behind schedule while decision-makers with competing interests debate over the appropriate course of action. Too often, the decision-makers who stand in the way of progress complain that they haven't been appropriately engaged in the project activities.

Bringing Method to the Madness

While there is no "silver bullet" for these challenges, they can be managed effectively through project governance, the management structure by which

  • stakeholders are properly engaged
  • appropriate accountability for delivery is assigned
  • critical project decisions are made

The following activities will ensure effective project governance at your organization:

  • Recognize all stakeholders and ensure engagement of impacted organizations by assigning people representing their interests to project roles or executive steering committees. It is essential to include people representing parallel projects that impact, or may be impacted by, your effort. If your project touches many different organizations, host separate project steering committee (to make the critical decisions) and stakeholder committee groups (to receive updates and opine on pending decisions).

  • Effective project governance Clearly define the project's reporting structure, making all assigned resources ultimately accountable to one person, typically the Project Sponsor. The Sponsor, as ultimate decision maker, must have authority equivalent to or greater than the leaders of other impacted organizations for them to navigate "sticky" political decisions. The Sponsor will ideally be from the organization that ultimately owns the solution and achievement of the promised performance improvements.

  • Assign and communicate specific roles and responsibilities for all activities and deliverables. Where deliverables are owned by people outside the core project team, advance notice of the requirement is crucial. Make sure to include the activities required to keep all stakeholders informed - different people may be accountable for informing different groups.

  • Produce regular and clear management reports that include escalated issues, decisions needed, and actions the project requires the Sponsor or Steering Committee take. For decisions, it is the Project Manager's responsibility to present the decision-making board with their options, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

  • Approve all changes to scope, schedule, budget or other elements of the Project Charter through the governance boards. Rules should be established in the Project Plan dictating which changes require formal approval.

Work with the Thought Leaders in Project Governance
Effective project governance is an arduous task that requires discipline, persistence, and adherence to best practices. To fully reap the benefits of project governance, it is essential to partner with an organization that can serve as an objective, knowledgeable "trusted advisor." Our seasoned team of management consultants at Peritius Consulting boasts a 23-year track record of delivering complex initiatives on time, on budget, and within scope. Contact us today to better understand how Peritius can help implement effective project governance at your firm.

About Peritius

Peritius Consulting is a management consulting firm that helps its clients execute their strategic plans. For over 23 years, Peritius has helped its clients navigate from vision to reality, allowing them to realize their strategic ROI. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you deliver strategy in the most effective, cost-efficient manner.   |     |     847-808-9999


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