Governance: Where’s the Beef?

by Richard Lynch, on Mar 12, 2019 12:01:07 PM

Back in the eighties, Wendy’s “Where's the beef?” iconic commercial went viral. The catchphrase originated as a slogan for the fast food chain Wendy's (all bread and little burger in competitor products) but since then it has become an all-purpose phrase questioning the value of an idea, process or product.


 Where's the Beef?When thinking about organizational governance and how business forums like the Project Management Institute talk about it, the same can be said, “Where’s the beef?” Organizational governance’s role is to direct decision making to optimize investments to meet strategic and operational goals. It covers a lot of terrain, including: the allocation of resources across operating units and functional units; mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; and the role of shared services.

Portfolio, Program and Project governance are terms that are used quite loosely in the project management community. Sure, there is much written about the “bread” … like decision rights, oversight, control, risk, communications and governance levels but what is the business context where governance matters (the beef)?

From a Strategy to Execution (S2E) lens, governance ensures that the right things get done the right way to produce desired results.

At the enterprise level, organizational governance needs to address oversight, integration, alignment and communications in five critical business processes:

Resource allocation process for the enterprise

What guides resource allocation across the portfolio of business?

The strategy development process

Does governance create the environment to accelerate the alignment and implementation of strategy though capabilities?

The portfolio design process

Does your governance structure provide the means to identify, assess, and respond to internal, external and changes by adjusting portfolio components or features?

The capability investment roadmap process

Does governance support a repeatable process for project prioritization that close capability gaps?

The budget process

Does governance help determine how much goes to running and improving the business and how much goes to transforming it?

Attention to governance is being driven in part by two-speed thinking. According to a McKinsey Digital Report, Introducing the next-generation operating model, companies across all sectors are considering ways that two-speed enterprise architectures can help them “deliver the best possible experiences for their customers.” To succeed, organizations “need to take a capabilities-centered approach to deploying technologies, digitizing processes, and managing governance issues. The businesses that do can work more efficiently, optimize their investments, and ensure that employees are in roles for which they are best suited.”

If your governance directing setting mechanisms are more bun that beef, the digitization of your business and other transformation demands may be elusive.

 Click below to find out how Accelare can help "put the beef" in your governance processes.



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