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


By Paul Dinsmore & Luiz Rocha

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Putting strategic initiatives into effect in organizations is like turning an ocean liner at full steam. Although the captain’s command may echo loud and clear, and the turning procedure may be under way, for the first few moments no direction change is apparent. The inertia of these giant vessels, measuring over three football fields in length, is so great, that a quick response is out of the question. It takes planning ahead and allowance for reaction time to make the right change in an ocean liner’s course.

This same challenge permeates the corporate world. While top decision-makers may mandate a given strategy, overcoming business-as-usual inertia takes time. So allowing for the inertia-related time is crucial for the success of strategic projects. Therefore, the time lapse for the course-changing process has to be built into the components of enterprise project governance.

The starting point is the strategy itself.  This assumes that a solid portrait of the desired results exists, formalized in terms of strategic initiatives. That overall strategy then acts as the bedrock that sustains the implementation of the projects designed to paint the picture visualized by the organization´s strategists. When the strategies are swiftly and effectively put into place, the odds are good they will bear benefits.

Actual success rates for implementing strategies, however, leave room for improvement.  Research from Insead professors Michael Jarret and Quy Huy shows that “most companies believe that after careful strategic review, analysis and planning, they have a winning strategy. However, 70 per cent of companies fail to get what they want out of their strategic plan and the problems usually begin with execution. The result of this is both organizational failure and individual stress and frustration, especially for the executives charged with implementation”.

Clearly, the ability to transform strategic plans into action is a universal concern. Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done that the ultimate difference between an organization and its competitors is the ability to execute. Execution is the missing link between good intentions and results, and as such, making it happen is the business leader’s most important job.


To read entire article (click here)

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

usa-brazilpaul-dinsmorePaul C. Dinsmore

Paul Dinsmore is board chairman of DinsmoreCompass, 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 20 books, including the AMA Handbook of Project Management. Mr. Dinsmore resides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

flag-brazilluiz-rochaLuiz 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]