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What's the point of Governance?

Project governance is a waste of time. That's what I used to think. Rules for the sake of rules, and no practical point to them. Governance just gets in the way of project delivery. That's what I thought.

And in a small company with limited oversight, and a tiny IT department with only a handful of stakeholders, it was possible to implement projects with only basic governance as long as the plans were sound, and properly communicated. And there's the rub. Once you start to work in a larger organisation with complex reporting and many stakeholders, as well as a requirement to prove that the project has been run under proper control, it becomes patently clear that the "small company" way of doing things simply cannot work. Worse that that, these "light touch" processes are scarily dangerous in a large organisation, putting the organisation and the project at risk - and by extension, the project delivery organisation too. Yes, I am a convert to proper governance processes.

So, it I have changed my tune over the past few years, what in particular do I now do differently?

So, these are just my basic reasons for using proper governance, and they make perfect sense to me, now that I have worked in teams of more than a handful of people. So, in a small company, should I ever find myself in that environment again, would I do things differently? Oh yes. Most certainly. Governance would certainly be improved, and so would a lot of the planning and control that tended to be done almost as an afterthought.

Oh dear... how the last three years in the bank have changed me!

Iain Millar, 02 December 2014