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Keep procurement projects on track with project governance framework

by | August 4, 2021

A project governance framework defines how decisions are made throughout the life of a project. Robust and clearly defined governance arrangements are critical to the success of any project, but particularly to the implementation of a procurement solution, as the project can affect a wide population of staff and suppliers.

Our procurement specialists defined three main elements of a project governance framework:

  • Structure – defining the hierarchical positions of a project, and the responsibilities of each role. This provides a clear escalation path for resolution of issues. The exact governance structure will depend on your organisation and the type of project you are undertaking.
  • Goals and Objectives – defining the desired outcomes of the project. Based on the business case for the project, these provide a focus for the governance bodies during the project’s life.
  • Information – specifying the methods for sharing information across the project, including where information is stored and how it is accessed. Ensures all involved or affected parties are fully informed and updated on progress.

The exact governance structure will depend on your organisation and the type of project you are undertaking but the following model has proved to be effective:

  1. Sponsor – Also called the project owner, the sponsor is the individual who is accountable for the success of the project. The person chosen must hold sufficient authority within the organisation to ensure they are empowered to make the decisions necessary for the project’s success.
  2. Steering Committee – Key stakeholders should be assigned to a Steering Committee. It provides strategic direction to the project, gives support where needed and ensures a focus on business case objectives.
  3. Design Authority – The design authority is the formal governance gateway for any design activity. Comprising of senior architecture and technology leaders within an organisation, its purpose is to provide assurance that any design meets the organisation’s agreed strategy and architectural principles.
  4. Project Manager(s) – Project management is responsible for developing the project plan. The PM needs to get buy-in from everyone involved in the delivery of the project and get their commitment to carry out the tasks assigned to them.
  5. Workstream Leads – Every project needs a plan for how the project will share information with all participants and stakeholders. The objective is to keep key groups interested and engaged, and others informed of the scope, objectives and progress of the project.

The project sponsor, steering committee and design authority oversee the direction and progress of the project, ensuring it delivers the correct outcomes, within the agreed timescales and costs and risks are effectively managed.

A good project plan is important to ensure that all relevant activities, tasks and deliverables are achieved within the desired timeframe and budget and that the objectives of the business are met. Without a good plan the project is likely to drift from the objectives, overrun timescales and increase costs.

Xoomworks delivers control points using quality gates, which are milestone sign-off meetings where the status of deliverables is reviewed, along with all open risks/issues. If all stakeholders attending the quality gate meeting are happy for the project to progress to the next phase, then the quality gate is passed. Specific milestones and checkpoints will vary by the type of project.

Download our eBook to discover 7 things to remember for a successful Source to Pay project, identified by our procurement specialists based on 600+ implementations.

This eBook is the fifth chapter of “The Ultimate Guide on Source to Pay Implementation”. The guide is a 12-part series developed by Xoomworks Procurement experts to help companies on their procurement transformation journey. Click here to view our 12-part guide.