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 Tracer and Spike  Tracer and Spike   Agile Project Governance GRID   Agile Project Governance GRID

Sharpen up: this is important. Governance is often seen as a dirty word in the agile project space. However there are some important elements to a project which, when they are present on a project, are crucial to success. Certainly, if they are missing this is almost certain to guarantee its failure. We do not say this purely to attract your attention; it is very true and your project governance demands some attention and respect.

Project governance is the set of arrangements within an organisation that assigns project responsibilities, enables decision making and governs delivery of the organisational capital investments in business change i.e. its projects. If your organisation has not got one of these it is not a surprise. Many organisations setup monitor and control processes for business as usual or daily processes but delightfully ignore the supervision of the project environment.

A quick warning: do not assume that an organisational chart, if you have one, represents the governance structure of your organisation or your projects. For often very practical reasons, organisational charts are rarely illustrative of governance hierarchies. They may represent the management information needs of the organisation. If the project has any challenging issues along the way, the chart will only evidence who will be telling the gloom to whom! It will not describe who you need to contact to get some help or assistance or who can forcibly unblock the organisational plumbing. You will be doing this. Thankfully, understanding the environment of your project unlocks this information for you. Get a coffee and settle down.

It is important to understand the governance in which your project will run. We have established that. However it is important too to seek to influence the environment if it fails to support your project. If you are not able to influence the project environment or your organisations governance policy and procedures are outside your sphere of influence or remit then, at the very least, you are aware of the disadvantages of this project environment. This means you can arrange for these to be documented, these will be assigned as risks to the project and someone else can go about changing or improving them so you have a more efficient environment in which to run your project. We will look at risk management elsewhere. But we confirm that you will be managing risks not just writing them down. Proper projects demand proper project governance.

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