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Project Governance

Project Governance: The Essentials

Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 60
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  • Book Info
    Project Governance
    Book Description:

    This step-by-step guide will show you how to make the most of your projects. Discover: the functions and relationships of the key parties. Who should make up the steering committee? Who should be appointed as project manager?, how to bring it all back to the bottom line – how much will it cost? How much will it save? Learn how to estimate the costs and benefits. Pick up strategies to help you stay within budget, how long a well-planned project should take to execute, what you can do to insure against the unexpected, the importance of risk management, how ready your organisation is to manage a project. Plan your project. The key to a successful project is planning. This practical guide will show you how to plan your project effectively and eliminate significant problems before you start. Learn how effective planning will save time and money in the long run.

    eISBN: 978-1-84928-181-2
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
    (pp. 5-6)
    Tim Thornton

    The term ‘project’ seems to be one whose hour has come – most things seem to be projects these days. There is perhaps an element of fashion in the development of the word – the buzzword which gets the heads of the cognoscenti nodding – but it is also true that there are just more projects about now. The cycle of innovation and change is continually picking up speed. A system that might have run pretty much consistently for a decade or so before will now undergo significant changes on a yearly basis, as new technology offers better solutions. Traditionally,...

    (pp. 7-7)
    (pp. 8-8)
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. 9-9)
    (pp. 10-15)

    Take a moment to reflect on the larger projects undertaken by your organization over the past five years. Why were these projects undertaken? What benefits were envisaged as stemming from them? How is your organization placed now, compared with five years ago? To what extent have these projects contributed to this change (assuming there has been a change)?

    Were you able to identify a project that has, without question, made a positive difference to your bottom-line? Perhaps. But I think, if you reflect carefully, you will agree that many of your projects involved a lot of activity for suboptimal results....

  7. CHAPTER 1: WHY?
    (pp. 16-22)

    A famous ancient building is the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is believed to have taken between 14 and 20 years to construct, concluding around 2650 BC.

    A famous modern building is the Sydney Opera House. Much smaller than the Great Pyramid, and constructed with the use of powerful machinery unavailable to Pharaoh Khufu, it took 14 years to complete.

    This should give us pause. The Pharaoh, it would appear, was not constrained by costs or labour problems, but the erection, from approximately 5.5 million tons of limestone, 8,000 tons of granite (imported from Aswan) and 500,000 tons of mortar,...

    (pp. 23-34)

    It may seem unnecessary to discuss the basics of projects, but you would be surprised to know how elusive an understanding of them can be. Accordingly, I offer the following ‘primer’ in the hope that it will help you to embed an understanding of projects across your organization.

    There are many definitions for the term project. I prefer the following:

    A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service.

    The words ‘temporary’ and ‘unique’ are the important ones.

    Projects are temporary because, unlike operational activities, they finish and do not start again.

    For example, your...

    (pp. 35-43)

    You want to know how long the project will take, how much it will cost, and who is going to be working on it to the scaling down or exclusion of their normal activities. Project estimates are supposed to supply this information so that you can plan accordingly.

    The person compiling the project estimates is making a prediction. Unfortunately, this prediction, almost invariably, becomes a management goal, and a management goal is a potential noose for the person who created it. If the project encounters difficulties, if it exceeds its allotted time and/or its allotted budget, what was called an...

    (pp. 44-49)

    What follows is a simple diagnostic. See whether your organization could build the Great Pyramid, or whether it would botch the Sydney Opera House!

    1. My organization exists in a complex political environment of numerous committees and influential stakeholders.

    Yes: No score

    No: One point

    You can’t help your environment, but if your organization is like this, it will find projects very difficult to plan and deliver successfully. The project planning process will need to be sold to these committees and stakeholders, so that when a project reaches the execution stage it answers to only one committee: the Project Steering Committee....

    (pp. 50-53)

    The Project Manager has presented an impressively thorough project specification. It estimates that the project will cost $1.5 million and will take eight months to complete. The estimates have been verified by your Internal Auditor.

    Why should you add to this carefully worked out budget?

    Because human beings cannot predict the future; because issues will arise as surely as night follows day; and because you want a margin for error, not an undertaking that will almost certainly be broken.

    Add 25% to the budget, making it $1.875 million. Determine the relevant cash flows and discount them. If the net present...

    (pp. 54-57)
    (pp. 58-60)