Project Governance

Project Governance

The significance of the right tools and processes

Aligning project governance with value delivery tools and processes provides teams on all levels with the same focus:  To deliver business value via strategic initiatives and their supporting project investments.


Creating the thread between these teams optimizes project value delivery and the delivery of an organization’s strategic goals.


One component to outstanding project governance is the construction and understanding of these roles:


  • Investment Board
  • Portfolio Management
  • Project Board
  • Project Sponsor
  • Steering Committee
  • Program and Project Managers
  • Project Team


Organization size has an impact, but the principled construction is the same.

The second component to outstanding project governance is having tools that support and drive a value delivery mindset. 


Adopting value delivery management processes, tools and models links all governance teams in a logical and intuitive way by instilling outcome thinking at all levels.  Delivering measurable business outcomes and their associated benefits becomes the primary focus. Cost and cost control remain in focus and highly relevant, but the purpose of project investment is to deliver value to the business as a means to deliver strategic goals.


We recommend and use TOP processes, tools and models as they are teachable, learnable and repeatable, and thus they are sustainable in your organisation.



  • Advise and train the PMO in business value delivery management
  • Review current governance set-ups and advise on installing a value delivery mindset and in the use of TOP tools and outputs
  • Advise and train project teams, project sponsors and steering committees in the use of TOP tools and processes


And if you don’t see what you want, ask us.



Business value delivery and project governance


Governance is how we do things.  Having a practical and logical governance set-up simplifies decision making, planning and the successful execution of strategy, business initiatives and projects.

The TOP Four Lenses:

TOP 4 Lenses - From strategy to technical delivery to business results

The Project team – the bottom two lenses - are the ‘builders’ and responsible for the management of cost and exercising cost control. 

Historically and currently, many organizations make ‘cost management’ the primary mindset in their governance activities, which compromises business value delivery. 

Too often, a Cost-Benefit approach is in play, instead of having the emphasis what intuitively makes most sense:  Benefit-Cost.  

This can lead to unfortunate decision making by positioning ‘business value’ as secondary (or even invisible) to the default hot topic: Cost.

Unless you incorporate the business value/governance and investment strategy/portfolio lenses into how you deliver projects you lack the rationale that provides direction and leadership to project activities.

Especially as the drivers for successful project delivery come from the top, through the investment strategy/portfolio lens.

The Way Forward


Governance:  steering committees and project sponsors must steer their efforts towards value delivery and have the tools to do it.  The most important job of the steering committee is to steer the project value into the business up until 100% of the value (the benefits) is achieved.  Anything less, and we call it a failure.


Project Prioritization:  Portfolio Management - Project Board - Investment Committee - Capital Investment Board:  all need the right set of tools to objectively measure which projects should be selected for execution, and the right data to measure the value delivery progress of each project during the full lifecycle of its execution – and until the final benefits are realized


Pre-project Analysis:  business cases (business propositions etc.)  must rigorously and with transparency assess the purpose, benefits, cost and risks for each respective project – this feeds into the data needed for objective project prioritization, and for the ongoing tracking and safeguarding of your investment


Senior Management:  C-level, Directors, GMs, all need to get on board with the massive competitive advantages of a value focused culture and the methodologies used so they can use their considerable expertise and abilities to ‘lift things’ and contribute their part to change projects


Project Managers:  PMs need to know that all of the above is in place, allowing them to focus on project delivery, and not get tangled up in a bureaucratic minefield.  To optimize and adapt their role, PMs need to understand the value driven culture and how it works



At the core – the engine that produces the measurable outputs and information for outstanding governance and optimized value delivery - is the TOP Value Equation, a set of processes and tools which in a structured way lead you to generate the primary data needed for your business case and for the continuous measuring and management of a project’s progress and the value being realized. 

The processes and tools are teachable and learnable, and they cultivate a business improvement, value driven, alignment oriented culture by enabling the relevant staff to freely engage and contribute during the analysis stage.  Staff participation is critical; with this comes alignment and ownership, which in turn makes all stakeholders agents of change.



How does your organization govern value?

A good ‘look in the mirror’ gets the ball rolling.

First, assess the language and the measures of success your organization uses in relation to projects — do they represent the common cost control perspective or are they more strategy based? Is a “successful project” one that delivers “on time and budget” or one that measurably delivers “the desired business outcomes and benefits in full”?

Then assess the nature and focus of your current business value and investment strategy tools, techniques and processes. Are they designed from the right perspective?

Do they focus on business value and strategy or on the project cost and technical dimensions?

Remember the cost control perspective pervades the project governance and delivery processes of most organizations around the world. The alternative business value and investment strategy perspectives have not been widely recognized let alone used to drive the tools, techniques and processes that optimize the results of project portfolios.

TOP is the only set of tools, techniques and processes based entirely on the four-lens model. 

This is what we use, and this is what we do: Create sustainable and outstanding Project Governance and business value delivery.

If you're interested in hearing more about our approach to project and program governance and how we are able to assist you, give us a call or email us using the form below.