Practice Exams:

PMI PgMP – The Program Governance Domain

  1. Program Governance Domain Introduction

This section is to cover the Program Governance domain. By program Governance, we mean the practices and processes conducted by a sponsoring organization to ensure that its programs are managed effectively and consistently. This section covers the following topics the Program Governance domain elements, the major artifacts of the program, Program Governance domain, the major activities of the Program Governance domain and in the last topic, we will highlight the interaction between the Program Governance domain and the Program Lifecycle Management domain.

  1. Program Governance Elements

Although there is no clear definition of the components of the program governance domain in the Standards for Program Management Third Edition Guide from BMI, this chart is created based on the practical experience to describe the governance domain. The program governance domain had the following three elements governance Board formation, governance planning and governance adherence. Let us brief each element.

The governance board formation is the creation of the Commission to be responsible for program governance level authorization and approval. The governance planning is the establishment of organizational processes and practices for rolling and oversight of the program, and the governance adherence is to ensure the compliance of the program management activities in different phases of the program management life cycle to the approved program governance. Program governance is the set of processes, procedures, guidelines, rules and policies defined as a higher level to guide and control the program management and help with the program manager to deliver the program benefits.

As expected, program governance looks like the umbrella covering the program management or as a doctrine with respect to the laws. As an example, when the program management submitted a document to the customer to approve it, the broker governance controlled the duration required to reply and the action to be taken if the answer was not received within this predefined period. For instance, the program governance stated that the documents should be approved or rejected within three working days and if rejected, the rejection reason and details should be included, but if not approved nor rejected within these three days, it will be considered completed.

Some other examples are the guidelines of the quality management include three quality reviews and one quality audit before GoLife. The Change Management governance includes the mandate of having a change control board with specific responsibilities and the acceptance governance includes the acceptance shouldn’t be by email, but it should be a written sign off on the Deliverable acceptance form. The following differentiates between the Governance and the management as bear the COBIT Five Foundation Guide. This understanding is added to complete the picture for your understanding regarding the management and the governance and not expected to be included in the Program Management Professional Certification exam.

 The Governance ensures that the stakeholders needs, conditions and options are evaluated to determine balance sheet, agreed on enterprise objectives to be achieved, setting directions through prioritization and decision making and monitoring performance and compliance with agreed on directions and objectives. The management plans, belts, runs and monitors activities in alignment with the direction set by the governance body. To achieve the enterprise objectives, you can refer to COBIT Five Foundation Guide a Business Framework for the Governance and Management of Enterprise. It chapter Six, where you can get more details about the differences between governance and management, including interactions table between both of them and process reference model. Again, this is for your understanding and not for the Program Management Professional Exam.

  1. Program Governance – Major Artifacts

The Program Governance domain has the major artifacts that are shown in this chart and the group for each element of the domain three elements. Remember that the color code will help you in identifying the group of artifacts for each element. The artifacts are as following in the program Governance board, we have the governance board responsibilities in the program governance planning we have the Program Governance plan and the Program Management Information System. And the last element is the governance adherence where we have the Audit Report, the Health Check Report and the Program Governance Plan update. Let us review each one of these artifacts in details starting with the Governance Board. The Governance Board is a decision-making body that is charged with endorsing or approving recommendations made regarding a program under its authority. Let us review the program Governance Board members.

Members should have organizational insight and decision making authority that is critical to the establishment of program goals, strategy and operational plans. Members should be able to ensure that sufficient resources are available to achieve the targeted program benefits. They are usually executive level stakeholders who have been selected for their strategic insight, technical knowledge, functional responsibilities, operational accountabilities, and responsibilities for managing the organization’s portfolio. They are senior leaders from the functional groups responsible for supporting significant elements of the program. In some organizations, program governance board is referred to as steering committee, oversight committee or board of directors. In a small organization, a single senior executive may assume the responsibilities of a program governance board. In most of the practical cases I have seen for small and medium sized programs, the Governance Board is the same as the Steering committee of the program.

The responsibilities of the Governance Board include ensuring that the program defined vision and goals are in line with the organization expectations and objectives. Approving the program approach, which mainly include the program charter and the program business case. Developing or approving the governance plan approving components initiation, closure or transition program funding, allocation and authorization defining or approving the program success criteria establishing the program reporting and control process approving the program quality Plan remember that the quality plan is usually created by the program manager or his program management office and then approved by the governance board. Monitoring the program Progress phase Gate and other Decision Point Reviews These reviews are conducted at times that confide with the initiation or completion of significant segments of a program and are sometimes called phase gate reviews.

They enable governance to approve or disapprove the message of a program from one significant phase to another and to review and approve any required changes to the program. Examples are the Fees gate after byloo test to agree on the approach before announcing the Go Life date and to decide to go live. The fees gate usually has three important items first, acceptance criteria or requirements to bus the gate. Then proposed decisions to be taken if you bust the gate successfully and the last proposed decision. If you failed at passing the gate, these decisions will be proposed by the Program Manager and are going to be made by the Governance Board. Now let us review the program governance plan. The purpose of the Program Governance Plan is to describe the goals, structures, roles, responsibilities, policies, procedures and logistics for executing the governance process. The Program Governance Plan is defined either as a separate plan or as a subsidiary plan of the Program Management Plan. The program governance plan is usually created by the program management office or the program manager and then approved by the governance board.

In rare cases, it is created by the Governance Board. Now let us review the major contents of the Governance Plan. The Program Governance Plan includes program goal summary, structure and composition of the program Governance Board, roles and responsibilities of the main program organization chart program Sponsor, program Manager, PMO, Project Manager, architect, ETCA. A regular governance meeting is scheduled weekly review, monthly review, sponsor review, face gate review, health Check audit, etc. Component initiation criteria component closure or transition criteria periodic health check and issue escalation process now let us review the program audit the program review and the program health check Each one of these three tools will generate a report that helps management in making decisions to recover the current situation, to apply changes, or to move forward. Let us start with the program audit.

The Program Audit concentrates on the program process and aims to answer the question are we doing it right? Program Audit helps the stakeholders to get clue on the program set up, planning, execution, progress and readiness to deliver the benefits and transition to operation. This may be executed by external or internal auditors. It is usually requested by the Governance Board or the steering Committee depends on the program execution phase, audit scope and stakeholder requirements. The auditors usually creates an audit plan that will be agreed with the sponsor before starting the audit activities. The outcome of the program audit is the program audit report. This audit report will contain findings and observations from the auditors on the program processes coming to the Program Review. The Program Review focuses on the program status and tries to answer where are we up to?

It is usually executed when there is uncertainty about the program status and it is required to have a clear view. It is often called by the program sponsor or the corporate management office. The last tool is the health check. The Health Check concentrates on the program delivery of value in order to see whether the expected outcome achieved or not. It is usually called by the program sponsor or the corporate Management Office and it may be requested also by the Program Manager to verify a specific deliverable from technical or business standpoint. The outcome of the health check is the health check report concerning this specific deliverable. This slide represents some governance activities that support program management, which are grouped into two groups program Management Information System and Program Management Knowledge Management.

Starting with the Program Management Information System, it is a system used to efficiently and effectively exchange of information between the program management, project management, Portfolio management and the program governance functions of the organization. Many applications with different features can help as Program Management Information System like Microsoft Enterprise Project Management EBM Oracle Brimavera and Project Portfolio Management PBM from SAB then the Program Management Knowledge Management is a system used to support program management capabilities by collecting, storing and turing knowledge across the program.

  1. Program Governance – Major Activities

With respect to the elements of the program governance. The activities to be executed in each element are shown in this chart. Please note that the color code helps you in realizing the activities for each element of the program governance. Let us review these activities in more details. In the Program Governance Board element, we have established the governance Board and assume governance Board responsibilities.

Then in the governance planning element we have develop program governance plan, get governance board approval on the governance plan, planning for the program management information system and planning for the program knowledge management and finally in the governance adherence. We have assured compliance with the program governance plan, approving program approach and plans execute program audit or health check provide organizational education and training in program management roles and responsibilities, skills, capabilities and competencies. Manage the program and the program knowledge using the respected management system. Update the Program Governance plan and reapprove the updated Program Governance plan.

  1. Program Governance – Highlights

The program governance domain is executed during the program lifecycle domain. Mapping the elements from the first domain to the thesis of the second domain will help to understand when the Program Governance activities are executed and the artifacts are created during the program lifecycle. This chart explores the timing relation between the Program lifecycle and the Program governance. You can notice the following from this chart program Governance board formation started and ended during the program definition phase.

Governance planning started in the program definition phase and ended at the beginning of the program benefits delivery Fees governance adherence started in the program benefits delivery fields and continued until the end of the program. That’s to say, the program closure fields. We have reviewed earlier many details about the Program Management Office roles and responsibilities in the organization of simple program structure, regular program structure, and complex program structure. Please note that the Program Governance control this level of authority given to the Program Management Office, as bears are given responsibilities to this role.

Therefore, the previous given examples of the responsibilities given to the Program Management Office may be slightly increased or decreased based on the organization culture, program complexity, and the trust given to the Program Management Office. On the other hand, the Program Manager is acting as a project sponsor for the project component and as a subprogram sponsor for the subprogram component. Another important hint is that the role of the Program Director is sometimes used to substitute the Program manager role, but in some other cases, you will have the two roles together the program manager role and the program director role.

In such situation, the Program director will focus more on the external program management, including the relation with the senior management, vendors and other external bodies, while the program manager role will focus more on the internal program management to realize the benefits as bears approved program Roadmap.

  1. Program Governance Conclusion

In this section, we covered the following topics the program governance domain elements, the major artifacts of the program Governance domain, where we explored some details for the Governance Board, the Program Governance plan, the Program audit, Program Review and Program Health Check, the Program Management Information System and the Program Management knowledge management, the major activities of the program governance domain. And in the last topic, we highlighted the interaction between the program governance domain and the program lifecycle management domain, in addition to some highlights regarding the Program Management Office, the component sponsor, and the Program director role.

  1. Program Stakeholder Engagement Conclusion

In this section, we cover the following topics the Program Stakeholder engagement domain elements, the measure artifacts of the Program Stakeholder Engagement domain, where we explored some details regarding the Stakeholder register, the Stakeholder map and the Stakeholder Engagement plan.

The measure activities of the program Stakeholder engagement domain. And in the last topic, we highlighted the interaction between the program Stakeholder engagement domain and the program lifecycle management domain.