Cover to Cover–Book Review
Enterprise Project Governance: A Guide to the Successful Management of Projects Across the Organization
Article first published online: 28 DEC 2012
© 2013 Project Management Institute
Project Management Journal
Volume 44, Issue 1, page 107, February 2013
How to Cite
Levin, G. (2013), Enterprise Project Governance: A Guide to the Successful Management of Projects Across the Organization. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 44: 107. doi: 10.1002/pmj.21317
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 28 DEC 2012
Enterprise Project Governance: A Guide to the Successful Management of Projects Across the Organization by and AMACOM Books, 2012, ISBN: 9780814417461, hardcover, 288 pp., $33.20 Member, $34.95 Nonmember.
Increasingly, programs and projects are considered strategic assets for many organizations, and portfolio management represents an organization's strategic intent. Many organizations now have embraced a management-by-projects culture. To complement these trends, members of organizations can benefit from an effective governance approach that is not limited to conducting stage-gate reviews on the most important, complex programs and projects under way. Paul C. Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha have developed such an approach in Enterprise Project Governance. As they explain, its purpose is to ensure programs and projects are aligned to strategy and to provide the ability to take proactive actions creating additional benefits and value.
Dinsmore and Rocha's approach addresses critical issues such as new technology, market changes, stakeholder concerns, and regulatory compliance, to list a few. They include a proposed sequence of chapters to read for executives, program managers, experienced project managers, and those seeking the basics of project management. This is an interesting, easy-to-read book with short, relevant case studies from organizations around the world in different sectors and meaningful graphics in each chapter. The authors' goal is to cover the full scope of why project governance is a necessity at the highest level to ensure there is greater traceability and accountability supporting overall corporate governance.
Recognizing that each organization is unique, Chapter 2 provides two approaches to consider. One extends the principles of the various project management associations and related organizations with a board using a committee with enterprise project governance (EPG) to oversee enterprise ventures. In the other approach, the board delegates full responsibility to the chief executive or his or her executive committee, enabling EPG to use the organization's full-time leadership. Case studies describe the two approaches recognizing the importance of EPG to ensure that strategic goals are achieved.
Throughout, Dinsmore and Rocha stress the importance of portfolio management in terms of strategy realization—the focus of Chapter 3—with specific approaches for portfolio management: a simplified weighted matrix approach and the analytical hierarchy process, which are discussed in Chapter 5. Before selecting a software tool to use, they note the importance of establishing a portfolio management process, leading to two key themes of stakeholders and change management to better ensure that both portfolio management and EPG will be implemented effectively.
People are the keys to success at every level and especially in EPG. Dinsmore and Rocha explain in Chapter 6 how best to turn strategy into reality. Often, strategy is viewed in vague, lofty terms lacking specific meaning to professionals at all levels. The authors propose four different approaches to do so with performance characteristics in a quadrant approach to strategy and its execution.
An organizational structure is required for EPG. This is the theme of Chapter 7, which addresses governance, competency, processes, and culture. Key stakeholder roles are enumerated in Chapter 8, with a focus on the sponsor.
Other chapters focus on why some internal transformation initiatives are not successful when people are not prepared to handle the new ways of working and tend to be change resistant. Dinsmore and Rocha suggest how best to implement EPG on complex programs and projects, which are often handled by a consortium, and on information technology and research and development projects.
Implementing EPG is a culture change that, if done as the authors describe, affects all stakeholders. It takes time to implement and actually is a project with a plan, a schedule, a roadmap, performance criteria, and a method to evaluate its usefulness, as explained in Chapter 13.
Reading Enterprise Project Governance is worthwhile for project professionals at all levels. While it lacks extensive academic references, it represents the next step to further organizational excellence and continuous improvement in portfolio, program, and project management.