What is governance and how does it influence PPPM?



By Klas Skogmar

Stockholm, Sweden



In my experience there are many different opinions on what “governance” is. This article will describe one perspective of governance, how different types of governance relate to each other, and give some details on project, program and portfolio governance.

Governance influences, restricts and empowers, the ways something can be managed through formal or informal means. Management is the operational activities performed to manage tasks or people. Governance can be viewed as the “management of management”, or “the rule of the ruler”.

If you can tell someone to do something, to get it done, it is management. However, if you generalize and write something down that enables everyone to act according to your wishes, then it is governance.

Governance can be formal and structured things such as policies, rules, processes, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. This type of governance is usually formalized and documented and may be referred to as a governance framework. But governance can also include things that may be hard to formalize and document, such as culture, principles and values.

One should note that governance is neither inherently good nor bad. Governance could be used in positive ways, as a means to create democracy, reinforce positive behaviors in an organization or to enable empowered teams, but it could also be used to reinforce the power of a dictator or sustain a never-ending loop of the recruitment of child soldiers. “Good governance” typically follows principles such as transparency, fairness, accountability and resilience.

Governance is something that “is” – not something you “do”. Therefore you also need to manage the governance. This view on the subject may be referred to as the act of governing. The act of governing may be writing and communicating policies, establishing processes, defining roles and responsibilities, etc. Those individuals responsible for managing governance are often referred to as the ”governing body”, but may have different names in different contexts. The governing body could be viewed as the ruler; the governing could be considered “to rule”; and governance “the rules”.


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How to cite this article: Skogmar, K. (2019). What is governance and how does it influence PPPM? PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VI, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/pmwj83-Jul2019-Skogmar-what-is-governance.pdf



About the Author

Klas Skogmar

Stockholm, Sweden




Klas Skogmar is a management consultant and trainer within project, program and portfolio management. Klas have been part of ISO standardization for several project management related standards, and regularly holds courses and seminars in areas such as PMBOK, ISO, PRINCE2 and agile development. He is also an entrepreneur with experience from founding and managing companies in various industries over the years. As a methodology specialist, he helps large organizations such as IKEA, Sony Mobile, Tetra Pak, Alfa Laval, Volvo and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency with portfolio management, project management and organizational agility. Klas can be contacted at klas@arkatay.com