Factors Affecting Program Governance
“I need to get approval for this,” replied the program director. In 2010, I
was part of an advisory panel where our main goal was to retrack a com-
petence enhancement program (CEP) for a certain government entity in
the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC). is program included multiple
initiatives, each of which was focused toward improving the eciency of
the department in dierent areas such as:
1. Organizational structuring
2. Soware development
3. Tactical operations
ese initiatives were aligned together under a CEP, which had a vision
to improve the departments operational eciency, resulting in better ser-
vices to its customers. One of our recommendations was to improve the
visibility of the program by placing banners in the department that had
program objectives inscribed on it. e cost of implementing this sug-
gestion was approximately $2,700, which was less than 0.0015% of the
program’s actual budget. But the program director had to approve this
amount even though he had this buer available. Upon inquiry he men-
tioned that according to the framework designed in 1998, the program
directors had a spending power of $1,000 without approval of the board!
No one had attempted to revisit the framework for twelve years, resulting
in an approval authority misaligned with programs in the current con-
text. Needless to say, getting the approval took the program director four
weeks. If the governance frameworks design team considered dierent
factors such as prevailing market conditions while designing a governance
framework for CEP, this valuable time could have been saved.
164 • Program Governance
Corporate governance has a signicant impact on the governance
frameworks of the contained temporary organizations. However, there are
various other factors which are unique to programs and have an impact on
program governance framework. is chapter discusses dierent factors
that inuence the program governance framework.
is inuence can be on any element of the program governance frame-
work, whether identication of program governance domains, which gov-
ernance functions to apply, or what should be the governance structure or
the design of the governance mechanism.
e governance of program comes under the umbrella of corporate gov-
ernance, which is governed by the industry under which the organization
is operating with each industry having its own set of governance require-
ments. us, the same governance regime cannot be applied uniformly
to all types of programs as dierent programs might require dierent
regulatory compliance. Winch (2001) states that “the range of governance
options open to any rm is limited by the institutional context within
which it trades” (p. 799).
Corporate Governance
Crawford et al. (2008) look at corporate governance as more of a stable
function in organizations, whereas the governance of a project/program
may dier from one another. However, there should be some sort of consis-
tency between them in the sense that the governance of a project/program
should not be in conict with the governance needs of the organization.
ey look at compliance and audit aspects of corporate governance and
treat support as a separate function (Crawford et al. 2008). Both of these
functions in combination form the basis on which the responsibilities of
project/program governance, in general, and the sponsor, in particular,
are dened.
While focusing on projects, Müller (2011) mentions that agreements
and contracts are made ex ante project planning and execution, and act
as a basis for governance setup for the project. ese contracts should
abide by the corporate governance function of the organization. In case

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