This Guest paper is an extract and summary from Enterprise Project Governance Chapter 1, by Paul Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha, published by AMACOM in the USA in 2012.
It was submitted for publication and is copyright to Paul C. Dinsmore & Luiz Rocha, © 2013
and published here September 2013

Editor's Note | Introduction | What is Enterprise Project Governance Anyway?
Use of a Comprehensive Approach | EPG and Corporate Governance
Enhance Organizational Performance | From Corporate Governance to Enterprise Project Governance


Enterprise Project Governance (EPG) is the out growth of the evolution of a professional activity known as project management. Scarcely recognized decades ago, project management expanded from a collection of techniques for controlling schedule, cost and quality for single projects to embrace multiple projects including portfolios, programs, project offices, and issues of organizational governance.

Thus, evolution affects everything - including projects. And this takes in the evolution of how projects are managed. But projects have existed since the beginning of mankind. Adam and Eve, Egypt's Cheops, Leonardo da Vinci and John Kennedy are some of the icons that have experienced or influenced the evolution of projects and their management.

From its most simplistic form of a single project like building a shelter from storms, project management broadened to a state of organizational entanglement that deals with multiple and complex initiatives in ever-changing environments. For example, high-tech space exploration requires a rock-solid set of policies, structure, guidelines and procedures to herd along the plethora of projects that oft times butt heads at stampede-like pace to meet desired goals.

In short, project management began from the intuitive logic of ancient architects and grew through successive stages of development that include these factors:

  • Single projects;
  • Methodologies;
  • Software;
  • Multiple projects;
  • Programs;
  • Project portfolios;
  • Project management office;
  • Issues of governance.

Thus the field of managing projects shows an ever-broadening scope - from ad hoc single-project approaches to a complex all-encompassing view of portfolios, programs and projects. This evolution peaks at the level of enterprise project governance, the umbrella of policies and criteria that comprise the laws for the sundry components that make up the world of projects.

In real life, scenarios of governance in project management vary from free flowing laissez-faire to formalized corporate PMO oversight. The typical ways project management is handled in organizations are:

  1. Laissez Faire ("whatever will be will be"). Projects are carried out as required using intuitive approaches or methodologies that vary from one project to another. Nobody knows how many projects are underway in the company or the status of all the projects.
  2. Departmental ("territorial"). Each department or area develops methodology and practice appropriate for that department. No cross-fertilization exists with other departments.
  3. PMOs, project management offices ("one or several?"). Some companies have multiple PMOs, either at different levels or different regions. They are sometimes connected yet often operate independently.
  4. Corporate level PMO ("top down oversight"). Here, a chief project officer, or corporate project management office, or strategic project management office, cares for the implementation of strategic projects and for the overall project management practice in the company, including project portfolio management.

Enterprise Project Governance goes a step further. It proposes an all-encompassing approach to the management of projects across an enterprise, involving all players, including board members, CEO, other C-level executives, portfolio managers, PMO managers and project managers.

This book focuses on this over-riding issue of enterprise project governance and shows how the components of projects fit under its protective umbrella.

Editor's Note  Editor's Note

Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page