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 programme 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 organisation in the modern information economy, which is characterised by information, knowledge, networking and connectivity.
While successful ICT project delivery will improve an organisation’s competitive positioning, a failed project can place an organisation 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.
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.
- GANTT charts (often using MS Project), critical path method (CPM) and programme evaluation and review technique (PERT) are all traditional project management tools.
- PRINCE2 and MSP
In the United Kingdom, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) and PRINCE2 are the most widely known and best-established project and programme management approaches, and are supported by a range of accredited qualifications.
Project Management Institute
The 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.
Many organisations 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.
Agile project management
The Association of Project Management (APM) massively de-emphasises 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 originally from the Cabinet Office. It provides guidance on how to maximise financial and non-financial benefits from projects, portfolios and programmes.
Within portfolios, MoV matches the organisation’s strategic goals with those of the programmes. These programmes 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.
Project management books and training
IT Governance stocks a wide range of project management books, including:
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.
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. Organised 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.