Bottom Line

Coordination of and cooperation between a governance board and a project office should be established so that an enterprise can more easily make rapid adjustments to the project portfolio, for example, to take quick advantage of opportunities or to cancel some projects and reassign bottleneck resources to speed up others. Prioritization ranking can be revisited with less political friction. A project office can do little of this by itself for long, and a governance board comprising executive management will often find monthly meetings to be too long, ill prepared, and unproductive without the support data, analysis, and alternative recommendations an effective project office can provide.

Matt Light is a research director in Gartner Research, where he advises on applications development and project and process management. He has more than twenty years of industry experience. Prior to joining Gartner, he worked as a project manager and in various development and research management roles both as a software entrepreneur and at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In addition, he previously directed project change processes in the project office of an electrical subcontractor and managed Auerbach Publishers' line of manufacturing automation and integration journals and reference books. He holds a B.A. from the University of Connecticut, an M.A. from San Francisco State University, and an M.B.A. in information systems from Sacred Heart University, Fair-field, Connecticut.

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