Enterprise Project Governance
How to Manage Projects Successfully Across the Organization


EPG and Corporate Governance 

By Paul Dinsmore & Luiz Rocha 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This is the second article of the series Enterprise Project Governance (EPG): How to Manage Projects Successfully Across the Organization. It will cover how the concept of EPG is ingrained into corporate governance adding project  traceability and  accountability to the basics of corporate governance.

EPG evolved in part due to the cascading changes that affected overall corporate governance beginning in the 1990s. Pressures from the marketplace, governments and regulatory agencies placed a disconcerting spotlight on company boards to ensure that decisions and corresponding actions are fully traceable from the top down.  Since a major part of organizational survival depends on new projects, EPG adds a measure of traceability and corresponding accountability to the basics of corporate governance.

The increasing focus on corporate governance can be traced to the stock market collapse of the late 1980s which precipitated numerous corporate failures through the early 1990s. The concept started becoming more visible in 1999 when the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its “Principles of Corporate Governance”. Since then, over 35 codes or statements of principles on corporate governance have been issued in OECD countries.

In 2001 and 2002, high profile corporate failures plagued major institutions. In the US, Enron, WorldCom, Xerox, AOL Time Warner, Tyco, and Arthur Andersen were in deep trouble. In Europe the same emerged with Ahold, Bertelsmann, Vivendi, SK Corporation, Elf-Aquitaine, Londis and Parmalat. The scandals in the US led to the refinement of existing corporate governance aimed at protecting investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (often shortened to SOX) is legislation enacted in response to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in the enterprise. In the UK, in 2003, the Higgs Report zeroed in on the same critical issues.

Corporate governance emerged from the shadows of boardrooms and is in common use not just in companies but also in the public sector, charities and universities. It has become shorthand for the way an organization is run, and is classically composed of committees charged with responsibility for regulatory compliance, auditing, business risk, hiring and firing the CEO, and the administration of the board of directors’ activities. The demand of shareholders and other stakeholders for good governance is strong and continuing. The evolution of corporate governance was prompted by cycles of scandals followed by reactive corporate reforms and government regulations intended to improve the practice. Investors, unions, government and assorted pressure groups are increasingly likely to condemn businesses that fail to follow the rules of good practice.


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This series includes articles by Paul Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha, authors of the book Enterprise Project Governance, published by AMACOM in the USA in 2012.  The articles are extracts and summaries of key topics from their book, providing information and guidance on one of the most important aspects of portfolio, program and project management today – governance.  For information about the book, go to http://www.amacombooks.org/book.cfm?isbn=9780814417461

About the Authors 

paul-dinsmoreusa-brazilPaul C. Dinsmore

Paul Dinsmore is President of Dinsmore Associates, and a highly respected specialist in project management and organizational change. A certified project management professional (PMP), he has received the Distinguished Contribution Award and Fellow Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI®). He regularly consults and speaks in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.  Paul is the author and / or editor of numerous articles and 18 books, including the AMA Handbook of Project Management. Mr. Dinsmore resides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

luiz-rochaflag-brazilLuiz Rocha

Luiz Rocha has 35+ years of experience in the industry and business consulting. Luiz worked with Andersen Consulting and Delloite in the USA and Europe when he had the opportunity to manage multi-cultural and geographically dispersed projects in Latin America, North America and Europe. In Brazil he worked with Dinsmore Associates and Petrobras. Luiz is an engineer by background, MSc. in industrial engineering from UFRJ – Brazil, PMP-PMI and IPMA certifications. He is also a published author with two previous books, Business Metamorphosis, in Brazil, and Mount Athos, a Journey of Self-Discovery, in the USA. Luiz can be contacted at [email protected].