The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Although the term governance is often used synonymously with the term government it tends rather to be used to describe the processes and systems by which a government or governor operate. The term government and governor describe the institutions and people involved.

It is often used by corporate organisations to describe the manner in which a corporation is directed, and laws and customs applying to that direction.

The term governance is also applied in industry, and especially in the information technology (IT), sector to describe the processes that need to be followed in a successful depatment, team or project.

A fair governance implies that these mechanisms are organized in a way that allows the rights and interests of the stakeholders (the "principals") to be respected by the executives (the "agents"), in a spirit of democracy.


Corporate governance

See the main article at corporate governance.

The fundamental concerns of corporate governance are to:-

  • ensure that conditions apply whereby a firm’s directors and managers act in the interests of the firm and its shareholders and workers
  • ensure the means are in place whereby managers are held accountable to investors and employees for the use of assets.

Corporate governance specifies the relationships between , and the distribution of rights and responsibilities among, the four main groups of participants in a corporate body:-

The ediface of corporate governance includes:-

  • the national laws governing the formation of corporate bodies,
  • the bylaws established by the corporate body itself,
  • the organisational structure of the corporate body.

The aim of corporate governance is to

  • describe the rules and procedures for making decisions on corporate affairs,
  • provide the structure through which the corporate objectives are set,
  • provide a means of achieving the set objectives
  • monitor the corporate performance against the set objectives.

Project governance

The term governance is applied in industry (especially in the information technology (IT) sector) to describe the processes that need to be in place to for a successful project.

A project governance will:-

  • Outline the relationships between all internal and external groups involved in the project
  • Describe the proper flow of information regarding the project to all stakeholders
  • Ensure the appropriate review of issues encountered within each project
  • Ensure that required approvals and direction for the project is obtained at each appropriate stage of the project.

The key specific elements of good project governance:

  • A compelling business case, stating what the objects of the project are and specifying what aspects are in scope and what are out of scope.
  • A mechanism to assess the compliance of the completed project to its original objectives
  • All stakeholders with an interest in the project have been identified
  • A defined method of communication to each stakeholder
  • A set of business level requirements that has been agreed by all stakeholders
  • An agreed specification for the project deliverables.
  • A project manger has been appointed
  • Project roles and responsibilities are clearly assigned
  • A current, published project plan that spans all project stages from project initiation through development, to the transition to operations.
  • A system of accurate upward status and progress reporting
  • A central document repository for the project
  • A centrally held glossary of project terms
  • A process for the management and resolution of issues that arise during the project
  • A process for the recording and communication of risks identified during the project
  • A standard for Quality Review of the key governance documents and the project deliverables.

See also

External links

The Encyclopaedia about Corporate Governance

Last updated: 02-06-2005 07:00:04
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55