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Governance Model: Defined

Once defined, a governance model will deliver the control, alignment, accountability, transparency and compliance results desired by organization leaders.

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Governance Model: Defined

  1. 1. • Cognizant 20-20 InsightsGovernance Model: Defined Executive Summary program managers representing perspectives from North America, the UK, continental Europe, A CIO may command universal agreement on the India and Asia Pacific were identified. All the need for a strong governance model, but among program managers were from the senior levels program managers, there is little shared ground of their organizations, with an average of 20 on just what a governance model is. It is not that years of IT experience. They were given a simple the intent of a governance model is elusive. On exercise: Write down in two to three sentences the contrary, there is industry-wide consensus your response to the question, “What is your that a governance model enables an organization definition of a governance model?” A sampling of to achieve a desired, and potentially mission-crit- the responses follows: ical, objective. This white paper explores pragmatic thinking on • “Program governance is a structured, tempo- rary set of processes, escalation/communica- the components of a governance model. Once tion and organization structures that steer and defined, the governance model will deliver the guide the program during its lifecycle while control, alignment, accountability, transparency reaching the agreed end state.” and compliance results desired by organization leaders. • “Software project governance is the art of using processes across the project to assure Impact of Governance Model Ambiguity that a finished quality project gets delivered With industry watch groups citing success rates on-time and on-budget.” in the 30% or lower range for IT projects,1 the downside of ambiguity in the definition of a • “Program governance is a working set of processes and management structures that governance model is undeniable. allow key decisions to be made during the lifecycle of the program to ensure that the It may be true that a lack of executive support benefits and outcomes of the program are or waning user involvement both undermine achievable.” great initiatives. Yet the absence of a well-defined governance model that harnesses executive Vendors contribute to the lack of consensus mindshare and user enthusiasm may be a more among program managers with their eagerness unifying observation. to insert a branded point of view on governance into the marketplace, along with their products, To establish a baseline on the divergent views held certifications and training programs. by professionals on the definition of a governance model, we conducted a simple survey. A group of It need not be so complicated. cognizant 20-20 insights | october 2011
  2. 2. Consider the basic governing needs of any Governance Model Overview endeavor. Regardless of size, scope or complexity, all endeavors require that decisions be made, things be done and people interact with other Decisioning people. Whether it’s “arrange surprise party Structures for spouse” or “implement SAP across the enterprise,” the effort requires the orchestra- tion of decision-making supported by a set of recognized protocols so individuals can anticipate one another’s actions, enabled by some type of COGNIZANT Governance Model collaboration mechanism. For Success Components of a Governance Model Collaboration Operating In its most elementary form, then, a governance Enablers Processes model is the coordinated interaction of three components: • Decisioning structures Figure 1 • Operating procedures • Collaboration enablers The Potential for Good or Chaos Decisioning Structures There is good and bad news regarding ever- expanding distributed decision-making. The good Experience has shown that decisioning structures news is that the distance between decisioning are frequently, if not solely, defined by organi- need and disposition narrows, progress-to-plan zation charts. Three-tier governance models is maintained, and costs are optimized. The bad depicting descending authoritative control — from news is that utter chaos could be just one invisible steering committee to program management decision away. office to project workstreams — provide excellent clarity in the hierarchical flow of control. The Pre-defined roles and responsibility matrices big, macro decisions are precisely allocated to extend the clarity of governance model organi- executives, stakeholders and zation charts by providing more precision in the other decision-makers listed Pre-defined roles on the organization chart. allocation of decisions to authorized staff. The real world, however, is filled with an enormity of and responsibility unknowns that challenge even the most thought- The issue with casting the matrices extend the decisioning component of ful RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, clarity of governance the governance model solely informed) chart. model organization on an organization model is How can governance model decisioning structures that most decisioning takes charts by providing place not at the macro level, adaptively manage in our reliably unpredictable world? more precision in the but at the micro level.allocation of decisions It is the accumulated impact The Leadership Culture to authorized staff. of small micro decisions, To preserve the good and keep the bad at bay, governance model decisioning structures need made by team members the crisp lines of authority derived from organi- laboring toward their individual targets, that zation and RACI charts, supplemented by a more maintains an initiative’s momentum. The daily amorphous authority derived from a leadership grind of declaring an issue closed, deciding culture — a leadership culture that rewards, if a risk is worth mitigating or tuning a design supports and encourages decision makers, yet change is performed by a myriad of invisible holds them to the same absolute accountability players on the organization chart. More signifi- as organization chart decision makers. cantly, as team sizes expand and co-location diminishes, the decisioning prerogative becomes Defining a leadership culture can be as problem- more widely distributed. atic as defining a governance model. We believe cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  3. 3. that culture is defined by the rules and lessons There simply is no pre-set collection of processesdeemed valuable enough to be passed down from with a single-size-fits-all profile.generation to generation. Projects assume theirown cultures, adopting rules and lessons that An argument can be advanced that there is, atdrive behavior. least, an essential set of required processes. A project with defined start/end dates commis-Some elements of a leadership culture can sioned to deliver a specific product requires abe engineered through the following types of minimal set of processes, such as:measures: • Have a plan to achieve results• Recruit leaders with savvy instincts committed (plan management). to leadership mentoring and training. • Work with other teams• Require frequent communications. (interdependency management).• Understand team dynamics by employing • Remove obstacles that impede progress to group dynamics models, such as the Tuckman the plan (issue management). Model of Group Development (e.g., forming, storming, norming, performing) or Cog’s • Avoid risks (risk management). Ladder (e.g., the polite, why we’re here, power, • Manage scope boundaries cooperation and esprit stages). (scope management).• Set clear behavior expectations, evaluate, • Communicate to stakeholders improve and move forward. (communication management).Yet despite all the psychology of building a Legitimate arguments could be made equally wellleadership culture, success comes down to the for an alternate list of processes. The first step infollowing: Creating an environment where people determining which processesfeel good about rolling up their sleeves and just are required is developing It is advisable todoing the right thing. an astute understanding of the behaviors that will best consider industryOperating Procedures support your initiative in processes as baseline“What’s the process for that?” Every program achieving its goal. definitions that canmanager has heard this question, most likelymultiple times. The adoption of regularized expec- With the end in mind, process- be re-tuned andtations defining how things are done is elementary es can be selected from the mixed-and-matched to rich pool of industry thoughtto converting random work efforts into collective leaders. Purists may demand, meet your initiative’sresults. Nearly 90% of the program managerswho responded to the challenge of defining a “PMI or the highway.” It is particular needs.governance model included processes as a model advisable, however, to con-component. sider industry processes as baseline definitions that can be re-tuned and mixed-and-matched toSeveral entities provide a wide selection of meet your initiative’s particular needs.thoughtful process models and protocol defini-tions, including the Project Management Insti- Process Relevancetute (PMI), Projects In Controlled Environments People gravitate toward what works and shun(PRINCE2), Control Objectives for Information what is perceived as bureaucratic overhead.and Related Technology (COBIT), Information When process compliance atrophies, then theTechnology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and overall effectiveness of the governance model isothers. Navigating this sea of processes is its own proportionally diminished. Unfortunately, processchallenge. abandonment is not an “if” but a “when” event.Which Processes are Best? Two factors drive diminishing process relevance.Ferreting out the best processes for a particular The first is the nature of a process. Processendeavor is not made any easier by experts and efficiency is based on a prescriptive definitionadvisors touting their collection of processes as of data, authorization and event sequencing. Aworld-class or best-of-breed. The answer to what by-product of any repeated activity is an inventoryis really world-class or best-of-breed is an unfor- of process improvements. Periodically refreshingtunate and very unsatisfying “that depends.” processes demonstrates the governance model’s cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  4. 4. responsive agility to adapt to changing business minimal chance of success, a governance model needs and user preferences. must have capabilities equal to the challenge of receiving, aggregating, preserving and throttling The second factor driving diminished process these vast volumes of data. More importantly, the relevance occurs as initiatives move through their real value of the governance model collaboration phase lifecycle. For example, early in a project’s component is providing people a mechanism to lifecycle, plan management and interdependency share, in real-time, their insights and observa- management significantly tions. It is the cumulative impact of real-time Given that today’s consume a project’s pro- shared insights and observations that transforms work world is flooded cess focus. These processes become less relevant as the random, raw data into valuable information.with unregulated flows project transitions to opera- Globalized, Virtualized World of fast-moving data, tional mode. In that phase, Clearly, grand endeavors have succeeded long a governance model process level management, service relevance shifts to before vast volumes of data flowed over cloud- enabled information portals and social collabo-lacking a collaboration incident and other service ration platforms accessible via mobile devices. enabler component is support procedures. Egyptian pharaohs, after all, built pyramids using disconcerting. The takeaway is to conduct — clay tablets. well in advance of a project The world today is, of course, quite different. The lifecycle phase change — a process review to irony is that we have not only been enabled by validate process relevancy for the upcoming this infinitely connected world, but we have also project phase. been transformed by it. The workforce today is global. The workplace is increasingly a transient, Collaboration Enablers virtualized environment, where an office can be When engaging in discussions on governance defined by nothing more than a patch of ground model definition, the mention of collaboration with reliable mobile device reception. Given enablers as a model component typically solicits ubiquitous access to an abundance of informa- the response, “Hmm,” followed by silence. Even tion, governance model design may have some allowing for liberal interpretation, fewer than clay feet to shed. 30% of the program manager respondents in our informal survey mentioned collaboration tools in At the Speed of Data their governance model definition (see Figure 2). Consider the consequences of a two-legged governance model attempting to manage data Given that today’s work world is flooded that arrives quickly, frequently and with content with unregulated flows of fast-moving data, value that diminishes over shorter and shorter a governance model lacking a collaboration time spans. enabler component is disconcerting. For decision makers and operating processes to have even a Governance Model Survey Results 100% Respondents were asked 80% 88% 88% which components were included in their governance 60% model definition. 40% 20% 29% 18% 0% Decisioning Operating Collaboration Other Structures Procedures Enablers Source: Cognizant survey of program managers Figure 2 cognizant 20-20 insights 4
  5. 5. When rescuing struggling projects, the issue repeat it.” But having an institutional memorymanagement process is a high-priority review that preserves not only the decisioning data buttarget. Issue management is the operating also the thought process revealing why a decisionprocedure designed to remove obstacles impeding was made may well be the slim edge a projectprogress to plan — a result highly desired by any needs in order to hit its aggressive deadlines.struggling effort. Issue data also have the arrival In our highly time-pressur-speed and accelerated perishable date character- ized, time-is-money world, Absent a collaborationistics noted earlier. a three-legged governance enabler to captureNot surprisingly, projects in duress typically model that integrates deci- and knit disparatehave two elements of the governance model in sion makers and operatingplace. Decisioning structures are adequately procedures with high-value issue data together,defined, and operating procedures have adoption information will deliver the decision makers andrates within acceptable norms. However, almost control, alignment, account- the issue process arewithout fail, the diagnostic review reveals that ability, transparency and com-the underlying collaboration tool for issues pliance results desired by all. victims rather thanmanagement is an Excel-based issue registry masters of their data.and a storm of e-mails flooding the in-boxes of The Exercise – Reduxdecision makers. Absent a collaboration enabler Let’s return to the exercise and write down in twoto capture and knit disparate issue data together, to three sentences a response to the question,decision makers and the issue process are victims “What is your definition of a governancerather than masters of their data. model?”Institutional Memory “A governance model is the interaction of threeThe response to, “Why did we make that decision?” components: decisioning structures providingshould not be, “We don’t know — the manager who management control at macro and micro levels;made that decision left the project.” The response operating procedures converting random workshould have an auditable timeline that is accom- efforts into collective results; and collaborationpanied by the data and attachments generated enablers managing information flowing in anfrom decision inception to decision disposition. ever-expanding, globalized and virtualized work world.” It may be trite to cite the old adage, “Those whocannot remember the past are condemned to Your CIO will welcome your clarity.Foonote1 “Chaos Manifesto 2011,” The Standish Group, March 2011.About the AuthorJay Kiskel is Cognizant’s Program Management Practice Lead for the Nordics. The author of PMI/ITIL-based delivery practices, he has honed his hands-on techniques over a 30-year IT career deliveringlarge, global, multi-million dollar business/IT transformation initiatives in the financial services, consumergoods, manufacturing and telecommunication sectors. Jay is well-traveled in global markets, includinga two-year assignment in Bangalore, India, and has worked on engagements in Moscow, Hong Kong andShanghai. He received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Rutgers University. He can bereached at Jay.Kiskel@Cognizant.com. cognizant 20-20 insights 5
  6. 6. About CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 118,000 employees as of June 30, 2011, Cognizant is a member of theNASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing andfastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at www.cognizant.com or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. 1 Kingdom Street #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Paddington Central Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London W2 6BD Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: inquiry@cognizant.com Email: infouk@cognizant.com Email: inquiryindia@cognizant.com© Copyright 2011, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
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Once defined, a governance model will deliver the control, alignment, accountability, transparency and compliance results desired by organization leaders.

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