Pain Points in Governance and Where the PMO Can Help

P3GGovernance in project, programme and portfolio management is defined as the framework of rules, processes, and decision-making authority that ensures that projects are aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives and that they are delivered effectively and efficiently.

In the recently published book Project, Programme and Portfolio Governance (P3G) governance is “defined as the set of arrangements by which an organisation directs and oversees its investment portfolio, holds individuals and governance bodies to account for achieving defined change objectives, and enables effective and efficient investment decision-making”.

Decision-making is at the heart of governance, and the PMO can provide much support in this area.

There are many pain points regarding governance in project, programme, and portfolio management (PPM). We take a look at some of the biggest ones and how the PMO can help to overcome them:

  • Lack of clear roles and responsibilities: When roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined, it can lead to confusion, duplication of effort, and accountability gaps.
  • Lack of communication and collaboration: Effective governance requires clear communication and collaboration between all stakeholders. When lacking, these can lead to delays, missed deadlines, and poor decision-making.
  • Lack of a common understanding of the goals and objectives: When there is no understanding of the goals and objectives of a project, programme, or portfolio, it can lead to misalignment and waste.
  • Lack of a documented governance framework: A documented governance framework provides a clear roadmap for how PPM will be managed. When this is lacking, it can lead to ad hoc decision-making and inconsistent results.
  • Lack of executive support: Executive support is essential for effective governance. When executives are not engaged, it can be difficult to get the resources and approvals needed to manage PPM successfully.

The PMO can provide services to help overcome these problem areas. Depending on the type and level of PMO, support can range from ensuring the governance framework is in place to providing effective reporting ensuring transparency in communications or even providing training for everyone across the delivery organisation in good governance practices.

Project, Programme and Portfolio Governance Practitioner qualificationFor PMO practitioners today there is a new qualification which focuses specifically on governance in delivery organisations. The Project, Programme and Portfolio Governance Professional qualification is awarded after the two-day course, now available through PMO Learning.

In the course, PMO practitioners are given three things. The first, is a thorough understanding of what governance is in projects, programmes and portfolios today. The second is the underlying principles of governance which mean action can be taken in your organisation, regardless of what the industry sector is and what projects you deliver. The third is, and crucially for PMO practitioners, practical guidance on implementing governance good practice.

PMO Support in Governance Practices

The PMO can offer many different services and support to help improve governance practices which lead to improved project, programme and portfolio delivery. Here are some of the actions the PMO can take:

  • Establishing and maintaining the governance framework: The PMO can help to establish and maintain the governance framework for the organisation. This includes defining the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, the communication and collaboration processes, and the decision-making process.
  • Providing guidance and support to project managers: The PMO can provide guidance and support to project managers throughout the project lifecycle. This includes helping project managers to develop project plans, manage risks, and communicate with stakeholders.
  • Monitoring and reporting on project performance: The PMO can monitor and report on project performance to ensure that projects are on track. This includes tracking project progress, identifying risks, and recommending corrective actions.
  • Ensuring compliance with organisational policies and procedures: The PMO can help to ensure that projects comply with organisational policies and procedures. This includes ensuring that projects are properly documented and that they are aligned with the organisation’s risk management framework.
  • Improved communication and collaboration: The PMO can help to improve communication and collaboration between project managers, stakeholders, and other key decision-makers. This can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that decisions are made in a timely and informed manner.
  • Increased visibility and transparency: The PMO can help to increase visibility and transparency of project activities. This can help to ensure that stakeholders are aware of project progress and that they have the opportunity to provide input.
  • Improved decision-making: The PMO can help to improve decision-making by providing objective analysis and recommendations. This can help to ensure that decisions are made based on the best available information.
  • Provide training: Training for all stakeholders can help to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.


The PMO can help to overcome some of the biggest pain points in governance, such as lack of clear roles and responsibilities, lack of communication and collaboration, lack of a common understanding of the goals and objectives, lack of a documented governance framework, and lack of executive support.

By providing these services, the PMO can help to improve governance practices, which lead to improved project, programme and portfolio delivery.

If you and your PMO are looking to upgrade the services you provide in governance – or are looking to get started with the basics, check out the Project, Programme and Portfolio Governance Professional qualification and get started with formal training today.

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