00:00:00 - Welcome to the second Nugget of 3.0 Project Execution and Delivery.
00:00:05 - This nugget is focused on 3.3 Project Governance, or the full
00:00:10 - title from CompTIA is Recognize the Purpose and Influence of
00:00:14 - Organizational Governance on a Project's Execution.
00:00:19 - This nugget is focused on project governance or probably the
00:00:24 - best summary of project governance is maintaining a good
00:00:30 - sponsor relationship, ensuring that the project and we the project
00:00:36 - managers are doing everything in our power to have a good sponsor
00:00:41 - relationship. And that's really done by having strong effective
00:00:46 - communications. Communicate, communicate, communicate, and if
00:00:51 - you are not sure the message has been fully received by the sponsor,
00:00:55 - communicate one more time. Expectation management. If you make
00:01:00 - a promise, if you make a commitment to the sponsor, ensure that
00:01:04 - you deliver on that expectation, ensuring you have good effective
00:01:09 - change and decision management in place to make sure that all
00:01:15 - factors/influences to the project that any changes to the project
00:01:25 - or any decisions that the project requires that all factors and
00:01:29 - influences are effectively managed within the project and therefore
00:01:34 - communicated to the sponsor. And when I say the "sponsor," I
00:01:39 - mean the sponsor and the entire
00:01:43 - stakeholder community.
00:01:51 - The sponsor is our key stakeholder, but good project governance
00:01:56 - is having effective governance for the entire stakeholder community,
00:02:00 - which brings in the escalation process. There will be times,
00:02:04 - with good project governance, that we will need
00:02:08 - to escalate items for attention to someone else, probably someone
00:02:15 - more senior in the stakeholder community for resolution. And
00:02:19 - finally, the last aspect to project governance is, Steve on his
00:02:24 - broken record, ensuring we have proper acceptance and process
00:02:28 - to gain approval for what's just been completed, and to secure
00:02:33 - commitment to proceed.
00:02:35 - Project governance is all about maintaining the sponsor, the
00:02:39 - stakeholder relationship. We need to have good
00:02:46 - effective working
00:02:52 - relationships with our sponsors, with our stakeholders. Now,
00:02:55 - when I say, "good, effective working relationships with the sponsors,
00:02:59 - with the acceptors,"
00:03:01 - I mean within the confines of the project. Maintaining good effective
00:03:07 - sponsor relationship is not always saying yes. There are going
00:03:11 - to be many times the sponsor and the stakeholders are going to
00:03:13 - come to us as project managers and say, "Steve, could you do
00:03:17 - this? Could you we add this functionality? Could you change something
00:03:21 - in the project?" It's our job as a project manager not to say,
00:03:25 - "Yes, sir or ma'am, I'd love to do that." It's our job as a project
00:03:29 - manager to say, "Yes, I understand your requirement. Let me analyze
00:03:34 - your requirement within the confines of the project, and I'll
00:03:37 - let you know whether that is achievable," and still deliver the
00:03:41 - project within your agreed upon scope, time, cost, and schedule.
00:03:47 - Or we have to say, "No, I'm sorry. That's not achievable. That
00:03:51 - is certainly external beyond the bounds of this project. If you
00:03:56 - would like it, I'd be happy to process a change request," and
00:04:00 - we'll talk about change management later in this Nugget series.
00:04:03 - But being
00:04:06 - a good effective sponsor relationship does not mean saying yes.
00:04:11 - Maintaining good sponsor relationship and the very nature of
00:04:17 - project governance is saying yes within the confines of the project.
00:04:24 - Goal to effective sponsor relationship is consistency.
00:04:29 - Perform in a consistent fashion. Be predictable.
00:04:35 - If your PMP, your project management plan says, "Status reports
00:04:40 - noon on Tuesday,"
00:04:44 - always deliver the project status reports by noon on Tuesday.
00:04:48 - It gives the sponsor a degree of confidence that you are doing
00:04:53 - your job as a project manager. Now, I am very guilty once in
00:04:57 - my life well, I'm sure I'm guilty more than once in my life of
00:05:01 - doing something that was contrary to good sponsor relationship,
00:05:03 - but I have a very specific and relevant example where I failed
00:05:09 - with the consistency and predictability. I had always been delivering
00:05:13 - my status report by noon on Tuesday, but this particular week,
00:05:17 - I was scheduled to be on a project-based training course for
00:05:21 - both Tuesday and Wednesday. I didn't explicitly tell my sponsor
00:05:26 - that I was going on the training course. I guess I assumed. And
00:05:29 - we always know that assuming is a bad thing to do as a project
00:05:32 - manager. But I assumed the sponsor would realize that I was on
00:05:36 - the training course. Again, it was a project-based training course.
00:05:39 - I never advised him that the status report was going to be delayed
00:05:43 - for that week. I just that word again assumed that he would know
00:05:48 - all about it. Wrong bad assumption because noon came, and the
00:05:54 - sponsor was saying, "Hmm. I wonder what happened to that status
00:05:57 - report. Steve always hands it to me before I leave for my lunch.
00:06:01 - Oh well, there must be some little minor issue he is dealing
00:06:04 - with. I'm sure I'll have it when I get back from lunch."
00:06:07 - Sponsor returned from lunch, still no status report, and this
00:06:10 - was a, "Hmm," double "Hmm. I wonder why Steve is so late with
00:06:16 - the status report. Oh well, I'll give him the benefit of the
00:06:19 - doubt. I'm sure I'll get it sometime soon." Two o'clock came
00:06:23 - and went, three o'clock came and went, and now, my sponsor was
00:06:26 - starting to get very concerned.
00:06:29 - "Why is Steve so late with the status report?" And I think human
00:06:33 - nature says when something unpredictable happens, we always assume
00:06:37 - the worst. We didn't assume that Steve won a million dollars
00:06:41 - and was having the time of his life. My sponsor assumed there
00:06:45 - is a project problem. "Steve is so engaged with resolving this
00:06:49 - project problem he doesn't have time to do the status report.
00:06:53 - This must be really a bad problem. There is something wrong with
00:06:56 - this project. I'm not going to call Steve right away because
00:06:59 - I don't want to distract him from the problem, but I am going
00:07:03 - to sit here and worry myself." Five o'clock came and went and
00:07:07 - still no status report. And now, my sponsor was really getting
00:07:11 - concerned. Wednesday morning came, and by Wednesday morning,
00:07:15 - he was convinced that I would have gotten the status report out
00:07:18 - sometime after hours, Tuesday night. Arrived at his desk first
00:07:24 - thing Wednesday morning expecting the status report and it still
00:07:27 - wasn't there. Worry became fretting and stressing. "What is so
00:07:33 - wrong with this project that Steve isn't getting a status report
00:07:37 - to me? What could be such a serious issue that Steve is so distracted
00:07:41 - that he is not getting my status report?" And you can imagine
00:07:44 - how much this bothered my sponsor all day Wednesday. And finally,
00:07:49 - on Thursday, when I got back to the office and I ran into the
00:07:53 - sponsor in the hallway, he was frantic. "What's wrong, Steve?
00:07:57 - What's wrong with this project? What can I do to help?" And I
00:08:00 - had this deer in the headlights look. "What's wrong? Nothing
00:08:04 - is wrong. It was an excellent training course. It's going to
00:08:07 - really help the project."
00:08:09 - And then he got this look of amazement or relief in his eyes
00:08:14 - and said, "You are on training the last two days. That's why
00:08:19 - you didn't get me my status report. There is no project problem
00:08:22 - at all." But without consistency, without predictability,
00:08:27 - our sponsor relationship is going to be strained, maybe not as
00:08:31 - extreme as worrying that the project is going down the tubes
00:08:35 - because I was late with my status report. But without consistency
00:08:38 - and without predictability, the sponsor is not going to know
00:08:42 - how to interact with us. The norms for interaction are not going
00:08:47 - to be as effective as possible.
00:08:50 - I believe a key to effective project governance stakeholder relationship
00:08:54 - management is
00:08:56 - part of, consistent with being consistent and predictable, maintain
00:09:00 - a followup and an issue log. If I make a promise on
00:09:08 - delivering my status report by noon on Tuesday, if I make a promise
00:09:12 - that says, "I'll look into that and answer
00:09:16 - by noon tomorrow,
00:09:21 - I've made a promise. I need to do a tickler to myself that says
00:09:26 - I made a project promise to have an answer by noon tomorrow.
00:09:31 - I need to follow up," I either need to provide that answer by
00:09:33 - noon tomorrow, or I need to do a subsequent follow-up that says,
00:09:37 - "Hey, I promised you an answer by noon today. It's going to take
00:09:41 - me a little bit longer. I had a couple of distractions this morning
00:09:44 - or it's taken a little more research to get to the answer. I'll
00:09:46 - get back to you by the end of day," update my tickler and get
00:09:52 - back to them by the end of the day. Consistent with that is managing
00:09:55 - the expectations. Don't make promises for the project that you
00:09:59 - can't deliver. But if you make a promise, deliver on the promise.
00:10:04 - Manage the expectations, and where appropriate, obtain consensus.
00:10:10 - Where is the project moving? We need to make some changes to
00:10:15 - the project. The project is running late. The project is running
00:10:17 - over budget. What can us, as the management team, myself and
00:10:23 - my sponsor, do to help move the project forward? Work
00:10:28 - for the constant win. Win, I know that's an overused phrase in
00:10:35 - today's business, but as a project manager, I need to be always
00:10:39 - working towards the win-win
00:10:42 - to maintain a good sponsor relationship. But the win-win has
00:10:45 - to be project-based.
00:10:50 - As I said at the beginning, I'm not going to always say yes.
00:10:53 - I need to have a total partnership.
00:10:59 - And you've heard me say it before in this Nugget series it's
00:11:02 - my job as a project manager to have a partnership with my sponsor,
00:11:08 - my arm around my sponsor's shoulder, and the two of us are walking
00:11:12 - together towards project success. And that is maintaining good
00:11:17 - sponsor relationships, and with good sponsor relationships, we
00:11:20 - are going to have effective project governance. Decisions made
00:11:23 - by our team
00:11:26 - are going to be for the benefit of the project.
00:11:30 - And there may be times when that partnership arm around the shoulder
00:11:34 - isn't as effective as possible. There may be instances where
00:11:38 - there is some wavering support. Our sponsor or some other member
00:11:41 - of the stakeholder community is not as committed to the project
00:11:45 - success as we need them to be.
00:11:48 - As project managers, we need to commit to resolving it. Sometimes,
00:11:53 - that's going to be a direct commitment. "Sponsor, I understand
00:11:58 - you have some concerns with the project right now. Here is my
00:12:02 - commitment to resolve it." Give them that commitment and then
00:12:06 - work to resolve it. And sometimes, that commitment to resolve
00:12:09 - is more personal.
00:12:11 - Something just doesn't feel right. I'm not getting the same vibes
00:12:15 - from my sponsor that I used to. There is something troubling
00:12:19 - my sponsor. I need to understand. I need to do my sleuth work.
00:12:25 - I need to ask the right open-ended questions to my sponsor to
00:12:30 - understand why our partnership is fading, and again, make the
00:12:36 - commitment to resolve. So sometimes, that commitment to resolve
00:12:39 - is open, and sometimes, that commitment to resolve is personal,
00:12:44 - i.e. to myself. But if we have any sense that there is wavering
00:12:49 - of support that our partnership is starting to fall apart, we
00:12:53 - need to resolve it. First step to doing that is identifying the
00:12:57 - issue. And again, if it's an open-ended,
00:13:00 - conflict, wavering support, "Why do you have these concerns?
00:13:05 - What can I do to fix it?" Sometimes it's going to be the more
00:13:10 - personal again. "How are you feeling? Do you think the project
00:13:14 - is doing okay? Are there any concerns?" and be
00:13:18 - exploring. But we need to be diplomatic. We want to restore that
00:13:24 - relationship. We want to restore that arm and arm strategy. We
00:13:28 - have to work as a cohesive team, so we need to be very diplomatic.
00:13:34 - Sometimes, you need to use your network. Talk to a peer of your
00:13:39 - sponsor. Try to understand if there are other things going on
00:13:43 - in the organization. Maybe you need to be very discreet
00:13:49 - and very diplomatic
00:13:51 - and talk to the sponsors' boss. "Has the sponsor talked to you,
00:13:57 - Boss, about any concerns they're having with the project that
00:14:01 - he or she hasn't shared with me?" But we absolutely need to get
00:14:05 - that wavering support resolved and get back to that partnership
00:14:09 - relationship. Key to effective project governance is communications.
00:14:16 - As I said in the intro to this nugget, communicate, communicate,
00:14:20 - communicate, and if you're not sure the message has been received
00:14:23 - by the sponsor, by the stakeholders, by management, by the team,
00:14:27 - by interest parties, communicate one more time. And what needs
00:14:31 - to be communicated? Everything.
00:14:36 - Anything and everything related to the project will, at some
00:14:40 - point in time, need to be communicated to the team, to the sponsor,
00:14:45 - to the stakeholders, to involved parties. Now, this nugget is
00:14:50 - on governance, so I'm going to focus on the upwards communications
00:14:54 - to the sponsor, upwards communications to the stakeholders,
00:14:59 - not so much the downwards into the team. We've talked about team
00:15:03 - management and team dynamics already in this nugget series, but
00:15:06 - we're going to focus on communications as part of governance
00:15:08 - outward. What do we need to communicate? Status.
00:15:12 - Fair, honest, status.
00:15:18 - We're not going to hide project challenges. We are going to manage
00:15:21 - project challenges. We are going to resolve project challenges.
00:15:24 - But when we have a project challenge that needs to be communicated,
00:15:27 - we are going to communicate it. We are going to communicate all
00:15:31 - changes. I had originally planned to deliver deliverable X on
00:15:38 - June 15th.
00:15:41 - Because of project delays, I'm not going to be able to deliver
00:15:45 - the deliverable X on June the 15th. It's now going to be June
00:15:49 - the 23rd. Any and all changes need to be effectively communicated,
00:15:54 - and that's part of the fair and honest. Once you know beyond
00:15:57 - the shadow of a doubt that that deliverable milestone is going
00:16:00 - to change, you need to communicate it. We need to tell the sponsor
00:16:05 - how the team is doing. Yes, it's my job as a project manager
00:16:10 - to motivate the team to deal with performance challenges, but
00:16:14 - again, if I have team performance issues that I cannot resolve
00:16:19 - within my power and authority, I need to communicate that to
00:16:22 - my sponsor. I need to communicate that to the appropriate management.
00:16:26 - I need to have good effective meetings, and I need to have meeting
00:16:30 - minutes. Meetings are inevitable in projects. We have a lot of
00:16:37 - people that need to be informed. We have a lot of people that
00:16:39 - need to be in decision-making processes. We need to have meetings.
00:16:43 - We need to have effective meetings. And we need to minute the
00:16:46 - meetings so that everybody is aware of and again, obtain consensus
00:16:51 - on what was discussed in the meetings. And finally,
00:16:57 - we need to communicate problems.
00:17:00 - Once the problem has been validated, determined that it is above
00:17:05 - and beyond my power and capacity as a project manager to resolve,
00:17:10 - I need to communicate that problem to my sponsor, to my stakeholders,
00:17:14 - to my management because they have more power and more authority
00:17:19 - and more ability to influence than I do, and they may be able
00:17:23 - to resolve the problems. Governance is all about keeping everyone
00:17:29 - informed of a fair, honest, appropriate status, and communicating
00:17:35 - challenges and issues to them so that they can, in turn, help
00:17:39 - me resolve them.
00:17:42 - And part of communications is effective communications. Knowing
00:17:45 - when to communicate in person. Knowing when to communicate by
00:17:49 - telephone. Knowing what is the appropriate communications to
00:17:53 - be done formally
00:17:56 - in written reports.
00:18:00 - Knowing when we need to schedule presentations, steering committee
00:18:04 - meetings, when maybe these more formal methods of communications
00:18:15 - are not required and we can simply send a quick e-mail to the
00:18:20 - sponsor, to stakeholders, to whoever we need to communicate.
00:18:25 - But in all cases, communications need to be well thought out
00:18:34 - and appropriate.
00:18:39 - Well thought out and appropriate for a business environment.
00:18:42 - Whether you are meeting in person, whether you are doing a telephone
00:18:46 - update, whether you are providing a written report, whether you
00:18:50 - are doing a formal presentation to the steering committee, it
00:18:53 - needs to be well thought out. What is the message I want to deliver?
00:18:56 - I need to deliver a consistent message throughout this entire
00:18:59 - communications channel.
00:19:01 - I need to ensure that the communications is professional, that
00:19:05 - it is not full of grammar, that I'm not speaking in slang, that
00:19:09 - it is going to be able to be interpreted by my audience. And
00:19:13 - we've talked about communications challenges and encoding and
00:19:16 - decoding and making sure that there are no issues with encoding
00:19:20 - and decoding, again, that I'm using the appropriate language,
00:19:22 - that I'm using business language, that I'm not using slang, that
00:19:25 - I'm not using terminology that may be appropriate in my country,
00:19:30 - in my culture that may not be understood by other members of
00:19:34 - other cultures. Effective communications takes a lot of work.
00:19:39 - It needs to be well thought out and appropriate. But without
00:19:41 - effective communications, we're not delivering the information
00:19:44 - to our sponsor, to our stakeholders, and therefore, the governance,
00:19:48 - the overall management of their project won't be as effective
00:19:51 - as possible. And my last statement in effective communications
00:19:57 - is pay some consideration, give some thought to establishing
00:20:01 - a project portal. I am a huge fan of project portals. I've actually
00:20:06 - been a huge fan of project portals. Not that I'm trying to pat
00:20:09 - myself in the back for being a state of the art trendsetter,
00:20:13 - but I've been a fan of project portals long before project portal
00:20:16 - technology came about, and I used project websites to distribute
00:20:20 - project information. But get everything out there on a public
00:20:24 - site. And when I say "public," available to the appropriate people
00:20:30 - who need to access it and make
00:20:34 - all information
00:20:38 - accessible 24x7.
00:20:42 - So that if anyone needs to understand information about the project,
00:20:46 - it's there on the portal and accessible. They don't have to wait
00:20:51 - for Steve to come in to the office the next morning. They don't
00:20:54 - have to worry about Steve being off at a training course. Find
00:20:58 - ways to ensure you have effective, professional, accessible communications
00:21:04 - throughout your project. And again, that's going to aid with
00:21:07 - project governance because then the sponsor and the stakeholders
00:21:11 - who need access to project information to help govern the project,
00:21:15 - to help resolve issues, to help make decisions have the information
00:21:19 - they need to keep moving your project forward.
00:21:23 - Expectation management is key. We've already talked a lot about
00:21:28 - making promises and keeping the promises. It's all about keeping
00:21:32 - all of the stakeholders informed so they are not guessing.
00:21:38 - They have all of the facts
00:21:41 - they need
00:21:45 - to help the project.
00:21:52 - Their expectations are being managed because they have all the
00:21:56 - information that the project is able to produce, easily and professionally
00:22:01 - acceptable. We talked about this already, maintain the action
00:22:05 - log. If I made a promise to get back to somebody by noon, do
00:22:10 - the tickler, maintain the action log. But sometimes, actions
00:22:13 - are not time-specific.
00:22:15 - We simply have an open-ended item that needs to be dealt with
00:22:18 - with the project. Something comes up in a meeting. It's like
00:22:22 - putting a parking lot together with a meeting. You have this
00:22:25 - piece of paper that you put to the side and said, "Here are items
00:22:29 - that we'll discuss if we get time in this meeting." Create your
00:22:32 - projects, parking lot, and I call the project "parking lot.:
00:22:36 - The action log where you're tracking and maintain all of those
00:22:40 - other promises, all of those other items that need to be considered,
00:22:44 - those other things that we should be looking at that's going
00:22:47 - to help us ensure overall project success. So maintain that action
00:22:51 - log, the parking lot. Keep your promises and key is don't overpromise.
00:22:58 - Again, our job as project managers is not to say yes to every
00:23:03 - request. Our job as project managers is to not promise the moon
00:23:08 - and then under-deliver.
00:23:10 - Our job as project manager is to make promises within
00:23:15 - the confines of the project.
00:23:23 - Deliver to those promises but know when
00:23:29 - you're overstretching your power and authority, and tell them
00:23:33 - upfront, "No, I'm sorry. I can't help you with that. That's not
00:23:38 - part of the project. If you would like to process a change request,
00:23:41 - we can add it to the project. Or if you would like to defer this
00:23:45 - after the project is done, maybe we can do it later. Or if you'd
00:23:49 - like to take this to a steering committee somewhere and have
00:23:53 - a new project initiated that's going to run in parallel with
00:23:56 - my project, that's fine." But keep your promises within the confines
00:24:00 - of the project and deliver to your promises, and your stakeholders
00:24:06 - are going to be very happy, and your project is going have the
00:24:09 - appropriate governance in place to ensure overall project success.
00:24:15 - Key to effective project governance is managing changes to your
00:24:19 - project and ensuring that decisions required to move your project
00:24:23 - forward are effectively managed. Change management and decision
00:24:29 - management have very different focuses for the project. Change
00:24:33 - management is all about identifying
00:24:38 - changes to the scope,
00:24:43 - documenting the changes,
00:24:46 - and obtaining approval
00:24:50 - to change the scope to include
00:24:53 - the change in the project. Decision management is quite different.
00:24:58 - Decision management is about identifying
00:25:03 - decisions required
00:25:09 - to move forward
00:25:14 - and then recording
00:25:18 - the decision.
00:25:23 - Change management is all about identifying changes and getting
00:25:26 - approval to proceed. Decision management is all about getting
00:25:30 - the information needed to continue to work on the project.
00:25:36 - Decisions are not directly related to changes. Decisions are
00:25:42 - simply gathering again the facts the decision required to move
00:25:46 - forward. So why have I included these two very different
00:25:50 - processes in the same discussion? Because the methods for dealing
00:25:55 - with decisions and changes from a governance process are identical.
00:26:01 - To me, the key is document each of these, whether it is a change
00:26:06 - or whether it is a decision using a template. We should have
00:26:10 - a change request template, and all changes to the project should
00:26:15 - be completed on that change request template. Remember that consistency
00:26:20 - and predictability. If it's a change, the change is going to
00:26:23 - be documented in a consistent, predictable fashion, and it's
00:26:28 - going to be presented for approval in a consistent predictable
00:26:31 - fashion. Or if it's a request for a decision, again, the decision
00:26:36 - is going to be documented on a decision request form, and it's
00:26:42 - going to be presented for resolution on the decision request
00:26:46 - form, consistency and predictable. Maintain a log. As soon as
00:26:51 - you create a change request, as soon as you create a decision
00:26:55 - request, log it. "On February the 19th,
00:27:01 - we had a change request opened."
00:27:04 - Then we are going to manage the log on a weekly basis.
00:27:09 - We are going to say which change requests, which decision requests
00:27:13 - are open, and we are going to work to enforce closure. This change
00:27:19 - request has been opened for six weeks.
00:27:25 - If you haven't accepted, approved the change request in six weeks,
00:27:29 - chances are the change is not very important to you, so I am
00:27:33 - going to just declare the change denied and stop worrying about
00:27:38 - it. Or a decision has been outstanding for six weeks. You need
00:27:44 - to tell me whether the accounting process of LIFO, FIFO or average
00:27:50 - cost is going to be used. It doesn't change the scope. It doesn't
00:27:54 - change the cost. It doesn't change anything related to my projects'
00:27:59 - components. But until I know whether the accounting method is
00:28:02 - LIFO, FIFO, or average cost, I simply can't proceed. And I've
00:28:07 - been asking for this decision for six weeks. You haven't been
00:28:11 - able to give me a decision for six weeks. So my closure attempt
00:28:15 - is going to be I am declaring the solution to be average cost.
00:28:22 - The project is going to proceed as average cost was the decision.
00:28:27 - I'm going to document the decision and I'm going to proceed.
00:28:32 - Document it, maintain the log, manage the log, and close these
00:28:37 - items are what's required for effective project governance. Now,
00:28:42 - there is one exception to the common process. Many organizations
00:28:47 - will have something called the Change Control Board. And the
00:28:50 - change control board is going to be the approval authority for
00:28:54 - the change request. So if a project has a change request, the
00:28:58 - project change request is often not approved within the confines
00:29:02 - of the project. It needs to go to a change control board to ensure,
00:29:06 - again, that the scarce corporate
00:29:11 - resources are best allocated across all projects. I have eight
00:29:15 - projects running in my organization. All eight projects have
00:29:19 - a change request for $100,000.
00:29:21 - I only have $300,000 available for change requests. So the change
00:29:26 - requests or change control board is going to review the eight
00:29:30 - changes and determine which three change requests best satisfy
00:29:36 - the corporate requirements, approve those three, and deny the
00:29:40 - other five, for example. But with effective change in decision
00:29:44 - management, again, we are putting the structure in place for
00:29:47 - consistent predictability. We are putting the structure in place
00:29:51 - to move the project forward, that we have the appropriate governance,
00:29:54 - that we have the appropriate approval processes as part of our
00:29:58 - overall project management principles for our project.
00:30:04 - Governance is all about approval, and approval is all about,
00:30:08 - where appropriate, escalation.
00:30:10 - Ideally, the PM and the sponsor
00:30:16 - approve everything related to the project within their power
00:30:20 - of authority and we have no reason to escalate. But often, there
00:30:24 - is going to be approval. There is going to be decisions required
00:30:27 - that's beyond the power and the authority of myself and my sponsor.
00:30:33 - So we will escalate using the org chart. This is an IT-based
00:30:39 - escalation required, so we'll escalate it through my management,
00:30:42 - to my manager, and get it
00:30:46 - worked on. We'll get it accepted. We'll get the decision made.
00:30:50 - Or this decision is on the business side, so we'll escalate it
00:30:54 - through my sponsor's org chart, and again, we'll get my sponsor's
00:30:58 - boss to make the decision to give us the approval to take the
00:31:02 - action required to move the project forward. So when we are escalating,
00:31:06 - we absolutely need to escalate within the project org chart.
00:31:11 - We need to escalate with approval. And what I mean by that is
00:31:16 - I, the project manager, should never be escalating anything to
00:31:20 - my sponsor's boss without their knowledge and agreement that
00:31:25 - the escalation is appropriate. "Yes, Steve, we have taken this
00:31:29 - as far as we possibly can. It's time to escalate.
00:31:34 - Please go ahead and let my boss know that we need their involvement
00:31:40 - in the project." So that's what I mean by escalation with approval.
00:31:43 - There shouldn't be any surprises. We are not going behind the
00:31:45 - sponsor's back. We're not going to their boss and saying, "Hey,
00:31:49 - my sponsor is just not
00:31:52 - doing what I think he should do. Could you do this on his behalf?"
00:31:56 - We are going to the sponsor's boss and saying, "Hey, we've been
00:31:59 - working to resolve this. We can't resolve this. Can you help
00:32:03 - us resolve it?" Escalation is for the success of the project.
00:32:08 - Escalation is not to air petty grievances. Escalation is not
00:32:15 - to be reflected on a performance report. It's not part of a career
00:32:19 - evaluation. Escalation is to get the decisions required for the
00:32:24 - project. And escalation
00:32:28 - is one of the biggest tools you need to have in your toolbox.
00:32:33 - Escalation is one of the biggest things we as project managers
00:32:37 - can do in conjunction with our sponsors to get the project issues
00:32:43 - dealt with.
00:32:45 - And to conclude, governance is all about approval. Approval is
00:32:50 - a formal process that requires
00:32:54 - signature. And you've heard me get on my soapbox enough about
00:33:00 - the importance of the formal approval process that I'm not going
00:33:03 - to focus on that anymore in this nugget. But I wanted to lay
00:33:08 - out as part of governance, key to project governance is we get
00:33:12 - approval at project stage gates. After key milestones,
00:33:18 - we are going to present the results of all of the interim deliverables
00:33:22 - as part of the milestone. We are going to get approval that
00:33:27 - the milestone was achieved
00:33:33 - through the signature. But key to it is this is a stage gate
00:33:38 - so we are going to get approval that the milestone is achieved,
00:33:41 - and we are also going to get approval
00:33:44 - to proceed.
00:33:47 - So not only has the project achieved the analysis milestone,
00:33:53 - not only has the project satisfied all of the deliverables with
00:33:56 - analysis and obtained approval, signed off on all of the analysis
00:34:01 - deliverables, as part of the approval stage gate process, we
00:34:05 - are going to get approval to proceed that says this project still
00:34:08 - makes sense. There is absolutely still a valid business reason
00:34:13 - why we should proceed and do design, and then eventual development
00:34:17 - and final towards implementation. And as part of governance,
00:34:21 - the discussion on approval is really focused on the stage gate,
00:34:25 - getting approval that the work was completed, but more importantly,
00:34:29 - to get approval to proceed to the next stage of our project.
00:34:34 - This nugget was focused on project governance, which is all about
00:34:38 - maintaining good effective sponsor relationships, ensuring that
00:34:43 - changes, decisions,
00:34:48 - and approvals
00:34:51 - are in place for the project. Good project governance is achieved
00:34:55 - through effective communications, professional,
00:34:59 - presentable, consistent, reliable. Communications of project
00:35:05 - status and project issues and project challenges, but we communicate.
00:35:09 - We do effective management. If we make promises, if we make commitments
00:35:13 - for our project, we deliver on the project promises and commitments.
00:35:17 - We don't over-promise, we don't over-commit, and we keep moving
00:35:21 - towards effective project governance towards final approval.
00:35:26 - We have effective change and decision processes in place to again
00:35:30 - track, log, and close all of those issues that may require attention
00:35:39 - from management. And we escalate to management where appropriate
00:35:44 - to keep the project moving forward to ensure that all of the
00:35:47 - decisions, all of the changes, all of the approvals are in place,
00:35:52 - and that we get the approval to proceed through the project
00:35:58 - stage gates.
00:36:02 - Project governance is all about keeping the sponsor and the stakeholders
00:36:07 - knowledgeable about the project, keeping them informed with the
00:36:11 - information they need to be effective participants in the project,
00:36:14 - and encouraging their participation in the project.
00:36:19 - This concludes our Nugget on project governance. I hope this
00:36:22 - module has been informative for you, and thank you very much
00:36:25 - for viewing.