Does Corporate Governance delay projects

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Project methodologies should improve the way the projects are delivered.  But why does governance delay projects in many cases.  The aim is better outcomes in terms of cost, time and quality. Ironically, environments where governance is strictly applied they often face project delays. Red tape gets in the way of effective project delivery. Bad governance can delay projects.

here are even instances of specialist governance teams that have grown to the point where they believe projects are there to support governance and not the other way around. A core challenge to PMO’s over the next few years is getting the balance right. At least improve the balance so that project are, but quality and cost be maintained and improved.

Many Auditors and PMO analysts act as the governance police. They apply the letter of the law, delaying progress with more hoops for a project to jump through. Pragmatic application of a governance framework helps projects deliver in a controlled manner.

So have no Governance

Is it better to have no governance and just let project managers do their own thing. This would wholly depend on the quality of your project managers and the project delivery team. But it is unlikely that a project delivery team work better where no control framework is applied. With no framework to follow each project would have the overhead of defining their own approach.

While too much governance is bad, no governance is worse. Projects delivered in organisation with no governance framework set themselves up for failure . The quality of each project relies on how well each project team define their approach.

The rule I have applied in training and coaching Project staff is to keep is as simple as possible. Always look critically at the controls or mechanism being used. If the control tools or documents do not help in improving things why are you using them. So, your controls should improve quality, contain cost, or deliver a quicker solution. This means simple terms if the method is not helping it must be getting in the way.


Apply judgement to each element of your project method. When you initiate and execute your projects and you end up with a self-tuning method. This allows the approach to be scalable and develop over time. Eliminate the areas that never provide benefit and support project teams in helping to improve areas of value.

Governance should reduce risk. It should not add untenable cost, time or complexity to project. But poor corporate governance delays projects.

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