Enterprise Project Governance: How to Manage Projects Successfully Across the Organization


EPG and Corporate Governance (continued)

Alignment with major International Project Organizations 

By Paul Dinsmore & Luiz Rocha 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This is the third article of the series Enterprise Project Governance (EPG): How to Manage Projects Successfully Across the Organization. As commented on the previous two articles EPG has evolved in part due to the dynamic changes that have affected overall corporate governance beginning in the 1990s. Pressures from the marketplace, governments and regulatory agencies have 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 that measure of traceability and corresponding accountability to the basics of corporate governance. This article will cover the view of major project related international organizations about the topic.

The challenge for organizations that rely on projects, programs and portfolios to instigate change and grow value is monumental. It calls for moving from ad hoc execution to an integrated, robust, repeatable and auditable system aimed at increasing the predictability of an organization’s future state. When these requirements are combined with the enhanced expectations of stakeholders, a significant requirement for such robust, predictable and auditable processes emerges.

Enterprise project governance resides under the umbrella of top management and corporate governance and is about ensuring that projects are aligned with overall strategy, are balanced with respect to corporate priorities and  succeed by establishing  a well defined approach which is understood and agreed to by all parties, that the approach is followed throughout the lifecycle of portfolios, programs and projects, and that progress is measured and actions are pro-actively taken to confirm that everything stays on track and that the agreed benefits, products or services are delivered.

Four pertinent views from some international organizations on the governance of project management are summarized below:


The need for more integration of projects with the business environment in which they exist led the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK, a member of the International Project Management Association (IPMA), to produce the document “Directing Change – A Guide to the Governance of Project Management.”  They follow Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) definition of governance as a set of relationships between an organization’s owners, its board, its management, and other stakeholders. The principles of effective project governance are described as well as the information a board needs to be confident that the organization’s projects are managed in accordance with the governing principles. Organizations striving for project success are encouraged to lift their perspectives beyond the delivery of the project itself and onto the broader issues of the project`s benefits and effects on the business.

The APM publication lays out the principles of effective project governance:


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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].