Project Governance on Steriods

As many of you will know, I’ve been pioneering Project Governance since the late 1990s.

In the past year I’ve completely revamped and extended our Project Governance program. This complete program is now available under “Business Project Governance” at

The program consists of a series of “Understanding …” Guides to educate executives as to the need for their governance roles, their accountabilities and success drivers; and a series of “How to …” Guides that spell out how to govern a project or program and how to, for example, manage the Steering Committee and Project Manager.

Each “How to …” Guide is built around a process — the process of governing project set-up or defining project policies or managing project managers. This gives each Guide a structure and framework rather than just being a collection of points and issues.

These Guides have also been revamped to be applicable to and useful for governing construction projects (whereas the previous version was heavily IT-focused). This increases the program’s flexibility and usefulness.

These Guides are designed to be provided to Project Sponsors and Project Steering Committee members to help them understand and perform their roles knowledgeably and effectively. While some of the content is ‘known’ (really or thought to be) there are always many dimensions that are new and contribute directly to the success of a project.

Other people who have found these Guides useful include project managers, auditors and Board members.

Our research found that poor project governance will destroy at least 10% of the project’s value and can allow the project to fail completely (even if it is finished). My Guides address this value-loss risk.

The full, revised Project Governance program consists of:

Understanding Project Governance

A quick overview of the 24 key governance areas that details what goes wrong when any area is poorly performed. A primer on the topic of “what is project governance?” (more information)

Understanding Business Project Leadership

A quick overview as to the need for and impact of business leadership on projects. Includes the required Sponsor commitment and charter. A primer for project sponsors. (more information)

How to be a successful Project Sponsor

A review of the Sponsor’s accountabilities and the differences between a good and poor project sponsor. The base guide for project sponsors. (more information)

Understanding “Why am I here?”

A quick overview of the need for and role of the Project Steering Committee and how it impacts the project. Includes the Steering Committee commitment and charter. A primer for project steering committee members. (more information)

How to be a more effective Project Steering Committee member

A review of the Steering Committee’s accountabilities and the differences between good and poor performance. The base guide for Project Steering Committees.

How to govern project set up

The first of the project oversight/governance guides that details where and how to get involved during the critical project set up stage (ie up to the business case approval). These “How to govern …” Guides are for all of the project governance team. (more information)

How to govern project planning

The second of the project oversight/governance guides that details what questions to ask and how to ensure the project plans are appropriate during the project’s planning stage. (more information)

How to govern project delivery

The third of the project oversight/governance guides that details the governance roles, concerns and required actions during the design and delivery stages. (more information)

How to govern project closure and beyond

The final of the project oversight/governance guides that details how and when to close down the project and how to continue governing until the final outcomes and benefits are realized. (more information)

How to manage your Project Steering Committee

A quick guide for Sponsors as to the role of Steering Committee, how to select its members, manage it and measure its performance. (more information)

How to manage your Project Manager

A quick guide to the role of the Project Manager, how to select one matched to your project’s requirements, manage them and measure their performance. (more information)

How to control your systems costs

A specific guide for systems projects that enables business executives to, understanding the trade-offs, specify the 12 key design criteria that impact development and ongoing systems costs. (more information)

How to define your project policies

A specific guide to agreeing and implementing a series of project and technology-related policies so that there is no confusion at the detail level as to what is required and who has the requisite authorities in relation to project delivery. A customisable policy document is also provided. (more information)

Why IT projects are different

A quick guide to the seven essential differences between IT and other types of projects (especially construction) which makes them more complex and more prone to failure. An essential guide for all non-IT executives and board members.
In addition, each of these Guides is supplied with bonus material whose value often outstrips the price of the Guide itself. (more information)

Plus, there is also a Project Governance Resource Library that is continually updated and added to that further enhances the value and usefulness of the Project Governance Program.

And, for those who don’t yet have an effective governance program in your organization, I have also created a “How to establish effective project governance structures” guide to enable you to plan, design and establish the necessary levels of governance.

Coming soon is a complete governance education program and full-scale project delivery competency development program.


Topics: Business Case, Project Governance

Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (June 2008) as "Project Governance On Steroids"

Updated: Chapman, A. (March 2020), Revisions and Corrections