Good Governance Delivers Good Projects

Yet another study has been done looking at why projects fail. This one, from Sydney consultancy Caravel Group and Melbourne Business School says that major project governance Teams are dysfunctional, lack the skills and experience to govern major projects, exhibit poor corporate behaviour, are conflict-ridden and rarely have their performance measured or reviewed.

I’ve worked in my fair share of big projects — I’m currently getting my head around a $300M infrastructure project and have been involved in software and hardware projects ranging from very small to huge. The difference between the projects that have succeeded and those that have been more challenging has come down to several things; an agreed scope, good controls around that scope and a project manager that understands what’s going on.

That’s where governance comes in. It’s critical to have processes and people with authority in place so that the whims of individuals with influence can be managed and so that there are appropriate controls in place to ensure that the budget and timeline aren’t compromised by poor project management practices.

Associate Professor Cocks from Melbourne Business Schools said: :Too many Governance Teams are stacked with ‘stakeholders’ to secure buy-in, rather than people with proven ability to govern projects. These people are often heavily conflicted and have no accountability for their Project Governance role.”

What’s the difference between successful and failed projects in your opinion? Is it all about governance or is there more to it?

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