A matter of trust: The need for governance and control of a project

José Pedro Gómez    17 November, 2022

Why do I need management figures for the governance of my project?

Back in the 13th century, a philosopher once said that an arrow has all the power in itself to hit the target, but that in order to hit the bull’s-eye it cannot be a matter of chance, but must be intentionally aimed, and the same applies to our projects: an archer is needed to set the arrow in motion and to give the necessary direction and strength to hit the target.

In our time, the target is constantly moving, so we need to control the trajectory and force more intelligently than ever with a vision extrinsic to the arrow. If we manage to keep our arrow in flight on a recurring basis, we will have succeeded in setting up a service.

We are used to hearing that a client’s organisation is determined by business orientation, and this sounds good, but the truth is that sometimes we find it difficult to land that common space that establishes a framework for growth in which both parties feel comfortable. 

In all methodologies, what we call activity governance appears in some way and with more or less homogeneous nomenclatures, and which is traditionally determined in a pyramid with three levels of demand in which IT professionals must work in an aligned manner to provide the different services based on market standards with solvency in environments of all sizes..

This sounds great but, how do we determine who is responsible?

The responsible will be located in the top layer of the organisational pyramid and we must orient it towards the strategy and management of the business itself, which will be the client’s main concern, with a strategic alignment for the management of the infrastructure and clearly focused on the client’s activity, which will have the vision towards the applications it demands.

They will inherit from this layer all the policies and any necessary changes of direction for a common growth in which they will contribute in a real way to the fulfilment of the objectives of the organisation that demands the activity.

This will be the tip of the iceberg that will determine the success in the rest of the layers that will be applied in the management of our projects or services. At this point is the contractual relationship between both companies, assigning to the figures that are determined the roles of maximum responsibility.

How do we ensure compliance? Who will be my reference? How do we land this?

All of this is developed at a second level, we must establish the bases for service level management, which is what we know as the tactical phase and where the client will designate the heads who will manage the budget and who will have a detailed development of the strategic policies and in a bidirectional manner with the generation of both executive and technical detail reports.

These roles will be responsible for the different Service Level Agreements (SLA) and will ensure their compliance with problem management analyses that will activate the improvement levers that guarantee the stability of the client’s infrastructure.

The best-known figure is the Service Manager in the operation phase and the Project Manager during the integration phases.

And what about the technicians?

In the layer closest to the client, we will find both change requests and incident support and even the user service centres in applicable cases, this being the main source of improvement actions that guarantee that the client’s productive environment can be considered stable in terms of the business continuity designed and with sufficient flexibility to be able to adapt to changes, security, growth or the adaptation of the systems.

We could call this phase operational, but it must be in line with the defined policies and with the capacity to extract metrics and different indicators that guarantee compliance with the contracted agreements and, if required, establish a direct relationship between the technical coordinators and the department managers, but always in accordance with what has been mentioned in relation to the upper layers.

Now it is time to sort all this out: The committees

In order to establish a logical order and for the machinery to function correctly, a series of committees will also be set up at different levels where the different aspects that will lead the project to an excellent execution in terms of time, stability and resources will be agreed, taking into account the maturity of the environment on the one hand and the needs for evolution and change on the other.

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