Strategic Project Governance in a Non-Projectized Environment:


A South African Perspective


Project Management in Southern Africa: Approaches, Experience, Trends


By Sinaye Mgolombane

South Africa


The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in South Africa recently released the third Report following the inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector Including Organs of State. The series of reports highlights how, despite having governance structures in place, several billion Rands of public funds were syphoned into individuals’ pockets. Therefore, it is an apt time to reflect on this and consider the way forward for strategic project governance.

Project governance is an “oversight function that is aligned with the organization’s governance model and encompasses the project life cycle,” according to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – 7th Edition (Project Management Institute-2021.)

Project Governance provides a logical and authoritative framework for decision making in the projects of a company or organization. It depicts what activities the organization does, the responsible person/s and project timelines with clear beginning and end.

It also provides all necessary tools to the project manager to manage a project. Project Governance is an important and helpful element of a project as it brings all the different components of the project together putting in place clear governance measures for successful implementation of the project led by the project manager.

Good project governance is the secret weapon of effective project-based organizations. The key element of project governance addresses how decisions, rights and accountabilities are disseminated and assigned between the project team, executives and the other key stakeholders.

It can be extensive and “heavy,” with lots of bureaucracy, or “light,” with minimal oversight. Managers should aim for the right level of governance for their environment and culture. Making sure your governance policies fit the purpose of the project is a key factor in ensuring that they are effective.

Project governance starts at the top. In large companies, this should include a commitment to the project governance guidelines from the company board of directors. The attitude and standards that are expected by the board members will filter down to the project steering committees (Steerco’s), project management committees (Manco’s), and teams.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles about project management in Southern Africa is by leaders of Project Management South Africa (PMSA) and other stakeholders, including educators, experts and practicing professionals. It is intended to share their experience and knowledge that might be useful for professionals and organizations in other African countries and elsewhere in the world.

How to cite this article: Mgolombane, S. (2022). Project Management Governance in a Non-Projectized Environment, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/pmwj115-Mar2022-Mgolombane-strategic-project-governance-pmsa-series.pdf

About the Author

Sinaye Mgolombane

Johannesburg, South Africa


Sinaye Mgolombane is a seasoned Project Management Professional, Business Executive, Digital Transformation Champion and an Environmentalist with over 23 years multi-industry experience in the Rail Logistics, Financial, Construction and Defense industries.

He holds Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Milpark Business School and he is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through PMI. He has also attained other leadership and management qualifications such as Senior Management Programme (SMP) from University of Pretoria; Advanced Project Management Programme from the University of South Africa; and National Diploma in Horticulture from the Cape University of Technology.

Sinaye is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board Directors of the Project Management of South Africa (PMSA) and has also served as Branch President and PMSA National Vice President.

He is also lecturing on Project and Change Management at Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management (part-time).

Sinaye can be contacted at Sinaye@PMSouthAfrica.onmicrosoft.com