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Project governance and Project Management Office (PMO)
Project governance and Project Management Office (PMO)

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1.3 Communication of governance arrangements

Four principles of effective project governance are given in the book Project Governance: A Practical Guide to Effective Project Decision Making (Garland, 2009), but the communication of governance arrangements is not included. Nor is communication specifically identified in the APM list of how good governance is demonstrated. In the context of governance, the communication skills of the project sponsor and the project manager need to be very effective. Good communication can help to reduce conflict in many contexts, and clear governance policies enable communication of problems and concerns in a formal and constructive way. The route for escalation is made clear in the governance, so that problems can correctly be communicated upwards. To communicate upwards may mean through the project manager to the project sponsor or project board, or to external functions within the organisation.

Activity 1

How is project governance communicated and implemented in the projects you work on? Are there standards, methods or organisational requirements that are well known, with roles and responsibilities clearly defined, or is governance something that is ‘done by someone else’? Is the route for communicating upwards clear to you, whether within the project, or between the project manager and the project sponsor?

If your study has introduced you to new ideas about governance can you suggest principles that your organisation or your project need to consider to improve the governance of projects? Might you be able to discuss this with work colleagues?


In this section of this course, communication of governance arrangements is last but this may be the section that is most relevant to this activity. How easily you were able to address the first part of the activity probably depends on how well governance arrangements are communicated, and you need to have been able to do this before you could consider the final question in the activity.

Communication is a topic that is important throughout project management.