7 things you need to know about project governance in HR

Project compliance and governance
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Jamie Lawrence
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HRZone
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Project governance is essential if HR technology projects are to succeed. We've got an in-depth guide to project governance for HR so download it if you're involved in any HR technology project, or any big HR change initiative. Here are seven lessons from the guide to whet your appetitite.

1. The elusive nature of the word 'governance' can cause friction

Elusive concepts can mean stakeholders work to different expectations and timeframes, which can cause friction. Differing motives can exacerbate this problem.

This makes it important to agree on what governannce means before embarking on project governance. But just sharing the vision and goals is not enough: you must agree on the journey.

2. There are many good reasons to focus on project governance, including...

  • Finding that decision-making does not cause delays to work, that there are no gaps in choices made, nor choices made twice or in conflict
  • Success in project-work achieving change yet within budget, time and quality scope
  • Satisfying requirements of formal regulators and legislation, as well as the less-defined expectation of external stakeholders (external governance)
  • Freedom for the project manager to get on with the job within agreed tolerance levels, including externally engaged PM experts too

3. The decision-maker must have real authority in the project governance process

Project governance is all about steer and decision-making - so your decision-maker must be clear to everyone and have real authority to make decisions.

It’s vital that the decision-maker has a link, and ideally full control, of the budget and procurement capabilities. There's also a key difference between authority within a change contect and in the overall running of the business.

4. Good project governance does not automatically mean method for method's sake

In defining how you wish with your partners to steer a project bear in mind that overprescription can constrain “agility”.

Also, avoid documentation for documentation’s sake. Do not confuse documentation with any guarantee – writing a lot down does not ensure it’s (a) understood (b) communicated (c) adhered to.

5. Involve the people you need in the project and no more

If a project board comprises too many parties, then there can be paralysis or confusion about the role of the board in making effective and informed decisions.

You may suffer terribly too from the logistical practicalities of over-involvement.

Read our full report for all you need to know about project governance from an HR perspective.

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