The project governance report

As soon as the initiation stage has begun, questions will be asked about the project's future. The business case seeks to answer the question: Why is this project necessary? Four more questions must now be answered:

e Who will be involved in the management of the project? e What will the project deliver? e When will it deliver it? e How much will it cost?

The answers are contained in the project governance report. As these challenging questions are posed, the project governance report gradually accommodates ever more detail about the emerging project. At the end of this stage, these questions must have been answered to the full satisfaction of the senior management team so that the portfolio management team can delegate responsibility to the project steering group.

Some organisations attempt to mandate the point at which development of the project governance report should begin. Although there will be many gaps in it at the beginning of the initiation stage, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The gaps demonstrate what remains unknown and thus what needs to be resolved before the project can move confidently into the delivery stage. So, in practice, the project governance report is best begun as soon as the project manager is in place. Even if the business case has yet to be completed, the project governance report is crucial and serves to remind everyone what questions remain to be answered.

Table 8.8 overleaf lists what should be included in the project governance report.

Table 8.8 Project governance report Organisation

Organisation chart What are the reporting lines?

Roles and Who are the chosen incumbents and what are their responsibilities? responsibilities

Communications plan How will the project's stakeholders be engaged? Project plan

Quality plan What must the project deliver?

- Deliverables

- Responsibilities

- Standards

Planning assumptions What caveats have been attached to the plan?

Time schedule When is the project intended to deliver its milestones?

Resource plan What resources are to be used and when?

Risks What are the possible challenges that the project may face, and what mitigations are proposed?

Project controls How will the project be kept on track?

- Control cycle What interventions have been planned?

- Escalation How will problems (real or forecast) be escalated? management

- Change control How will changes be considered?

- Configuration How will control be maintained over the project's products? control

- Quality control How will products be tested?

- Risk and issue How will risks and issues be managed? management

The success of the project governance report can be judged against these criteria:

e Does it identify and describe the roles and responsibilities of those who will form the project's management team? e Does it show how time, cost and quality targets identified in the business case may be met? e Are the time, cost and quality components of the plan consistent with each other? e Does it describe how the project will be kept on track? e Does it enable a clear approval decision to be made?

Consequently, it should include the following components.

Organisation

Organisation chart

This should identify the roles in the project and the reporting lines between them. As people are identified for each role, their names should be placed clearly in the appropriate boxes. It can be all too easy to deny knowledge of involvement, so this demonstration of their participation is a further means of informing the people chosen, and others, of their role. Something similar to Figure 8.3 is required, replacing the question marks with the names of the participants.

Roles and responsibilities

A title can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, so for each role in the organisation chart, the respective responsibilities must be described fully so that all incumbents are clear about what their own role, and those of the others, entails.

Communications plan

The communications plan will describe:

e what information must be communicated throughout the project and beyond; e who needs to receive this information; e what the communication format should be and who should develop or present it; e when it is needed.

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