Book review: Directing Change, Sponsoring Change, Co-Directing Change

photo-1APM, Association for Project Management, offers small APM knowledge booklets covering interesting topics in the field of project, programme and portfolio management. I received three related booklets:

  • Directing change. A guide to governance of project management;
  • Sponsoring change. A guide to the governance aspects of project sponsorship;
  • Co-directing change. A guide to the governance of multi-owned projects.

The first book, Directing change, explains how good governance requirements apply to the direction and management of your organisation’s portfolio. The governance of project management (GoPM) is a subset of the activities involved with corporate governance. You get an overview of 13 principles identified for the governance of project management. E.g. the organisation differentiates between projects and non project-based activities or project stakeholders are engaged at a level that commensurate with their importance to the organisation and in a manner that fosters trust. To comply with these 13 GoPM principles you get 44 practical questions that should help you to understand what you have to do to be compliant. These questions are grouped around four main components:

  • Portfolio direction; to ensure that all projects are identified within the one, sustainable portfolio;
  • Project sponsorship; to ensure that project sponsorship is the effective link between the organisation’s management board and the management of each project;
  • Project management capability; to ensure that the teams responsible for projects are capable of achieving the objectives;
  • Disclosure and reporting; to ensure that the content of project reports will provide timely, relevant and reliable information.

The second book, Sponsoring change, offers you practices regarding, or a framework for project sponsorship and more specific the governance aspects of the role of project sponsor (In other methodologies called project executive, project owner, senior responsible owner, business programme owner, business sponsor, etc.). The book explains:

  • Why every project needs a sponsor;
  • The organisational context;
  • The attributes for successful sponsorship;
  • What a sponsor does for the management board, the project manager and other stakeholders.

Dia1I often have discussions about responsibilities of the project sponsor and you probably too and this is a handsome overview to use. I summarized these activities of a project sponsor in a one pager. To download: Sponsor (responsibilities, 140921) v1.0

In the appendices you get a checklist to select a project sponsor and sponsorship checklists covering the governance responsibilities.

The third book, Co-directing change, answers the key question “How can boards be assured that appropriate governance arrangements are in place for projects in which they share ultimate control with other parties?” This booklet follows the same structure as the first book, Directing change. It starts with the overview of governance of multi-owned projects (GoMOP) and gives a set of 12 principles that an owning board should apply in every multi-owned project. E.g. unified decision-making or resolution of conflict. To comply with these 12 GoMOP principles you get 60 practical questions that should help you to understand what you have to do to be compliant. These questions are grouped around six main components:

  • Alignment; to ensure that the project is established in such a way that the succeeding components can have the effect expected;
  • Owning-organisation sponsorship; to ensure that there is an effective link between the senior governing body of each owning organisation and the management of the project;
  • Project management; to ensure that the team responsible for managing the project is capable of achieving the defined objectives;
  • Disclosure and reporting; to ensure that provision, sharing and use of information is supportive;
  • Risk and reward; to ensure clarity about the benefits and potential risk for owners and is essential to a sound governance structure;
  • Joining and leaving; to ensure that arrangements are in place to govern changes in ownership.

In the appendices you get an overview of multi-owned project models (e.g. joint venture, bidding consortium, alliance contracting, etc.) and the relationship between the principles and SOX.

If you are struggling with sponsor responsibilities in your organisation, these small booklets are definitely worth reading.

To order: apm publications

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3 responses to “Book review: Directing Change, Sponsoring Change, Co-Directing Change

  1. Balasubramanian.C

    Great and Concise Concepts in short book format

  2. Rommert Stellingwerf

    Henny,

    Thanks for the clear summary of the APM booklets.

    As you may know, ISO Technical Committee/258 is developing a family of standards in the field of project, programme and portfolio management. One of the standards that is currently being worked on is “Governance of projects, programmes and portfolios”. This standard describes the context and provides guidance on the framework and high level principles for the governance of projects, programmes and portfolios, from pre-project considerations to post-project evaluations, bringing together current practices.

    Two of the mentioned booklets (Directing change and Co-directing change) have been used as reference material for developing content. The publication of this ISO governance standard is planned for 2017.

    In the Netherlands we are looking for more experts to get actively involved in the development of the mentioned ISO standards. For more information, interested people may contact the secretary of the NEN standards committee (“normcommissie”) Projectmanagement via http://www.nen.nl/Normontwikkeling/energy/Projectmanagement.htm or me directly.

    Regards,
    Rommert Stellingwerf,
    convenor of ISO TC/258 Working Group 2 Governance of projects, programmes and portfolios.

  3. Pingback: Review: The Effective Project board. Keeping projects and programmes on target | Henny Portman's Blog

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