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Project Governance and project management

Project governance frameworks

On this page you will find information on project governance frameworks and their project management methodologies, books, tools and qualifications. The differences between project governance and project management, which are frequently confused, are also pointed out.

Methodologies covered on this page include: PRINCE2®, PMBOK®, Agile, MSP®, PMO and MoV™.

An introduction to project governance

Project governance, of which program and project management are the key subsidiary disciplines, is critical to business competitiveness.

Project governance is important because IT-supported project management and execution are fundamental to the survival of an organization in the modern information economy, which is characterized by information, knowledge, networking, and connectivity.

While successful ICT project delivery will improve an organization’s competitive positioning, a failed project can place an organization at a strategic disadvantage. This makes IT project governance one of the board’s most important responsibilities.

Effective project governance is about ensuring that complex IT projects deliver the value expected of them, rather than being expensive and embarrassing failures. An appropriate governance framework helps save money by ensuring that all expenditure is appropriate for the risks being tackled. It also enables business analysts to better understand and compare the way in which public companies manage their technology investments.

Project governance and project management

Project governance should not be confused with project management. Project governance deals with the strategic management and governance of a portfolio of projects to deliver business value.

Project management, on the other hand, manages projects on a day-to-day basis, making any decisions that have to be made based on the scope they have been given by the project board.

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Project management methodologies

A project management methodology is a set of inter-related phases, activities, and tasks that define a project process from its commencement through to its completion.

Project management methodologies are usually supported by accredited examination certificates, such as the ISEB Foundation Certificate in IS Project Management.

Common project management methodologies include: 

  • GANTT charts (often using MS Project), critical path method (CPM), and program evaluation and review technique (PERT) are all traditional project management tools
  • PRINCE2 and MSP (most common in the UK)

Learn more about PRINCE2 >>

Project Management Institute (PMI)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is well established in North America and throughout the rest of the world. Its Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) has been available for more than 20 years, and is supported by a membership scheme as well as an extensive qualification scheme.

Learn more about PMBOK and PMI >>

Project Management Office (PMO)

Many organizations set up a project management office (PMO) to coordinate their multiple projects. A PMO methodology might be applied in environments that have multiple release and deployment activities or a portfolio of projects and assets that need to be effectively managed through their lifecycles.

Management Successful Programs (MSP)

Managing Successful Programs (MSP), is a best practice method for program management that enables organizations to coordinate, direct, implement, and manage a portfolio of projects that deliver a desired outcome.

In order to achieve long-term, organization-wide strategic goals, it is necessary to break the large and the long-term into smaller, Managing Successful Programs (MSP) is the best practice for the management and breaking down of these programs.

Learn more about MSP >>

Agile project management

The Association of Project Management (APM) massively de-emphasizes the sort of project management methods described above. It instead favours a dramatically enhanced level of communication and pragmatic collaboration between business users and software developers throughout the development process, rather than a prescriptive definition of the finished product. APM favours Agile.

There are a number of different Agile methodologies. The originators and practitioners of many of these Agile methodologies had a workshop in 2001 to try to identify what they had in common. They picked the word ‘agile’ as an umbrella term for what they were doing and crafted the Manifesto for Agile Software Development to provide a common framework.

Management of Value - MoV

Management of Value (MoV) is a value management methodology that provides guidance on how to maximize financial and non-financial benefits from projects, portfolios, and programs.

Within portfolios, MoV matches the organization’s strategic goals with those of the programs. These programs in turn deliver these goals through the underlying projects. The core guidance that forms the foundation of the MoV methodology can be found in the MoV manual Management of Value.

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Key project management books

IT Governance stocks a wide range of project management books, including:

Agile Governance and Audit

Written for auditors and Agile managers, Agile Governance and Audit bridges the gap between traditional auditing approaches and the requirements of Agile methodologies.

It provides an overview of Agile for auditors and other risk professionals who have not encountered the approach before. Each chapter includes hints and tips for auditors, and case studies illustrate the practical issues involved in auditing Agile projects. This makes it an ideal book for any auditor encountering the Agile methodology, and any Agile teams preparing for a management audit.

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Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomes

Companies invest billions in technology projects each year, yet their success rates remain surprisingly low. Industry benchmarks suggest that only 15-20% of projects are completed on time and on budget.

Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomes is a comprehensive reference guide that focuses on the assessment of IT projects. Organized into five main sections, interspersed with case studies based on the author’s extensive experience delivering projects, the book provides exhaustive guidance on structuring and conducting an IT project assessment, from planning to presentation.

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50 Top IT Project Management Challenges

Discussions on project management forums highlight many of the challenges facing a project manager during the course of a project. Unclear requirements, scope creep, and undefined roles are well-trodden issues that can derail a project. Other challenges are less obvious, often more subtle, but equally destructive.

This book offers a focused and concise summary of 50 challenges facing today’s IT project manager. The authors draw on years of practical experience (rather than classroom theory) to outline these challenges and offer useful tips and advice on how to deal with them.

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