Project Governance – “be in control”

Conductor waving baton over orchestra

Good project governance is like a symphony conductor. It brings all the different players together, guides them towards a common goal, and helps them achieve greatness as a team

The most common definition used in project management literature is: “Project governance is the management framework within which project decisions are made”. In other words, we can say that project governance is the management system for project decisions. We can further simplify this definition by saying that project governance should ensure that we execute the right projects in the right way and realise the right benefits.

All companies have organisational charts that show who is responsible for operational tasks and results in the various organisational units. In addition, companies will link an authority matrix to the same chart that describes decision-making authority for managers in different roles and at different levels. The same managers also have contracts and job descriptions as a mandate for their position. Clear roles, responsibilities, authority and decision pathways are the basis for good operations.

Project governance entails that we introduce a similar framework for projects. Just like operational tasks, projects need clear and repeatable processes with clarified roles, responsibilities, authority and decision pathways. Projects are integral to most companies, either as customer deliveries or in relation to internal change and development processes. As such, it is crucial that we have control over our project portfolio, that projects succeed and that we are able to realise the desired benefits – every time.

This course will give you an understanding of the following key topics and provide you with a solid foundation for good project governance in your enterprise:

  • Projects, project management and project governance
  • Project organisation and interaction with line organisation
  • Roles, responsibilities and authority in the line and in the project
  • Project charter: Contract between the project manager and project owner
  • The project model with phases, activities, decision gates and roles and responsibilities
  • Criteria for successful projects

If, after completing the course, you notice deficiencies in your own enterprise, it is important that you inform your manager or the management team of your findings. Inadequate project governance is one of the major potential pitfalls of modern project management, and it can be a resource-intensive threat to development and growth.


The course is based on the international project management standards “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” from the Project Management Institute (USA), “Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2” from Axelos (UK) and ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management”.