Enterprise Project Governance
A Guide to the Successful Management of Projects Across the Organization
Authors: Paul C. Dinsmore, PMP, Luiz Rocha
Pub Date: March 2012
Print Edition: $34.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417461
Page Count: 288
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417478
Buy the book:
Introduction to Enterprise Project Governance
Evolution affects everything—including projects and how projects are managed.
Projects have existed since the beginning of humankind. Egypt’s Cheops,
Leonardo da Vinci, and John F. Kennedy are some of the icons that have initiated
or influenced the evolution of projects and their management. From its simplest
form of running a single project, such as building a shelter from storms, to
dealing with multiple and complex initiatives in ever-changing environments,
such as high-tech space exploration, project management has broadened to a
state of organizational entanglement that requires a rock-solid set of policies,
structure, guidelines, and procedures. And the complexity is necessary if project
managers are going to wrangle the plethora of projects that often butt heads
at a stampede pace to achieve their desired goals.
Project management began from the intuitive logic of ancient architects
and grew through successive stages of development that include these factors:
l Single projects
l Multiple projects
l Project portfolios
l Project management office
l Issues of governance
Thus the field of managing projects shows an ever broadening scope—from
ad hoc, single-project approaches to a complex, all-encompassing view of portfolios,
programs, and projects. This evolution peaks at the level of Enterprise
Project Governance (EPG), the umbrella of policies and criteria that comprise
the laws for the sundry components that make up the world of projects.
In real life, scenarios of governance in project management vary from
freeflowing laissez-faire to formalized corporate PMO oversight. The typical ways
project management is handled in organizations are:
1. Laissez Faire (whatever will be will be). Projects are carried out as required
using intuitive approaches or methodologies that vary from one
project to another. Nobody knows how many projects are underway in
the company or the status of all the projects.
2. Departmental (territorial). Each department or area develops methodology
and practice appropriate for that department. No cross-fertilization
exists with other departments.
3. PMOs, Project Management Offices (one or several). Some companies
have multiple PMOs, either at different levels or in different regions.
They are sometimes connected, but they oft en operate independently.
4. Corporate-Level PMO (top-down oversight). Here, a chief project officer,
a corporate project management office, or a strategic project management
office cares for the implementation of strategic projects and
for the overall project management practice in the company, including
project portfolio management.
EPG goes a step further, proposing an all-encompassing approach to the
management of projects across an enterprise, involving all players, including
board members, CEO, other C-level executives, portfolio managers, PMO
managers, and project managers. This book focuses on this overriding issue of
Enterprise Project Governance and shows how the components of projects fit
under its protective umbrella. The essence of EPG is explained in the answers
to the following questions.
What is EPG anyway? Enterprise Project Governance is a framework residing
under the umbrella of top management and corporate governance. It is
aimed at ensuring the alignment of the corporate portfolio and its programs and
projects with overall strategy, and that actions are proactively taken to confirm
that everything stays on track ultimately to create value for the organization.
Why implement EPG? Enterprise Project Governance is designed to meet
an urgent need: to find a way to deal intelligently and efficiently with the numerous
projects and programs demanded by the marketplace, evolving technology,
company stakeholders, regulatory agencies, and the quest to innovate.
All of this is to be done with limited resources and at record-making speed.
EPG presents an orderly and effective organizational approach for dealing with
these critical issues.
Who are EPG stakeholders? Enterprise Project Governance stakeholders
include initiators, change agents, and affected parties. An initiator might be
a board member, the CEO, the CIO, other C-level executive, or an influential
middle manager. Once the seeds are planted, active participation is required
from change agents such as corporate PMO players, PMO members, IT (information
technology) participants, and HR agents. The parties benefited include
organizational stakeholders who need projects performed effectively and the
professionals who deal directly or indirectly with projects.
When is it right to implement EPG? The conventional approach to deciding
the right time is to do a size-up of the situation, using internal or external resources.
A quick project management maturity assessment is helpful to understand
the depth of knowledge and competency available in the organization.
Answers to these questions also help evaluate the right time frame: What are
the short-, mid-, and long-term benefits? Is the organization’s culture ready, or
is more change management required first? Is the right leadership prepared to
take on the task?
Where should EPG be implemented? Implementation of Enterprise Project
Governance is facilitated in a fertile setting and surrounded by influential
stakeholders. Let’s say a specific business unit has major challenges in
implementing its projects and strong awareness among its executives. That
is a good place to implement EPG. A ripe spot for initiating EPG is where a
high-level champion of the cause resides and when a solid need for structuring
How do you go about implementing EPG? Enterprise Project Governance
can be implemented on sundry ways. How to proceed depends on such factors
as the actual need, the existing culture, the presence of a champion, and a
feasible plan for making the implementation. Initiative for promoting the EPG
concept may start at different levels, such as with the board, CEO and executive
team, or middle management, or at the professional level in a bottom-up approach.
This book is aimed at providing examples and cases of what works and
what doesn’t work in managing multiple projects and major strategic projects
across an enterprise. The relationships between the components of EPG and
the suggestions on how to implement EPG are shown in the list of abridged
chapters at the end of this chapter.
Is a comprehensive EPG approach needed to achieve effective project management
across the enterprise? Even though an orchestrated program under the
EPG label stands the best chance of generating effective results on a timely
basis, formal EPG is in reality an evolutionary approach involving different
initiatives depending on each organizational setting.
A number of reasons justify using incremental approaches to upgrade the
overall effectiveness of project management across the enterprise. Some of
l Minimal awareness in the organization about the impact that project
management at all levels has on overall results.
l A lack of a project management culture, including trained professionals
l Insufficient sponsorship to champion the cause.
l A lack of expertise in change management techniques.
When the scenario isn’t yet favorable for a formal program, partial initiatives
are appropriate, such as:
1. Intensifying training programs in the basics of project management.
2. Stimulating the use of project management techniques across the enterprise
in all areas including engineering, IT, R&D, new product development,
marketing, and HR.
3. Creating awareness at the executive level through the literature, benchmarking,
4. Identifying potential sponsors for a broader program.
5. Stimulating the implementation and development of PMOs.
With these measures in place, an organization will be on its way to producing
highly successful projects of all types across the enterprise.
When the scenarios are favorable, however, a comprehensive EPG program
offers an accelerated, holistic, and integrated way to guarantee optimal
project performance and boost overall organization results.
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