Project Governance Blog Feature

Get Your Project Teams in Order: A Complete Guide to Project Governance Framework

Without governance, chaos reigns. This statement holds true in any situation requiring structure and systematic persistence. And, in the highly competitive and result-driven world of project management, there is absolutely no room for workplace chaos. Imagine trying to run a tech giant without rules, checks, or a strategic plan. That’s a recipe for disaster!

Think of project governance as your project’s superhero, bringing in:

  • Zen processes: Your internal processes are well-communicated, clear, and error-free
  • Time’s BFF: Deadlines become a walk in the park
  • Client cheer: Happy clients? Consider it done 🥳

In this article, we’re decoding the power of project governance, connecting the dots between those big-picture governance principles and the nitty-gritty of your daily project grind. We’ll cover:

  1. Concepts within project governance
  2. Steps to develop a project governance framework
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What Is Project Governance?

The basic concept of governance is pretty straightforward: it refers to the collective processes that allow diverse elements in society to wield power, authority, and influence. The end goal is to craft policies that shape the workings of public life, economics, and social development.

When we zoom into project management, we encounter a similar concept tailored for project-specific decision-making—project governance.

By definition, project governance is an oversight function that is aligned with the organization’s governance model and encompasses the project life cycle.

But this technical description can be hard to digest for many of us. In plainer terms, project governance is the go-to structure—also called governance model or framework—for deciding:

  • Ways to tackle projects
  • The authoritative structure for allocating resources and making decisions
  • Budget distribution
  • Process optimization to reduce the expenses stemming from inefficiency

Picture it as the guide for project decisions—the game plan that walks projects from genesis to success. It’s not just about handling isolated project outcomes, though. 🧐

The idea is to sketch out a panoramic view of the entire organizational scheme through best practices and processes. Whether you’re ideating an agile release plan or a product launch, project governance entails having reliable policies, rules, functions, responsibilities, conflict resolution measures, the whole nine yards—a map of how things get done and who’s in charge.

Pillars of Project Governance

In understanding project governance, you’ll need to grasp the concept behind its three foundational pillars—a dynamic trio of structure, people, and information. 👪


Think of your project like a well-oiled machine; its structure is the solid framework that holds everything together. We’re talking guidelines, procedures, and detailed plans that essentially form the backbone for operations, offering the stability and direction needed for project success.

In most cases, the senior management or the governing or advisory committee is responsible for plotting the scope, structure, and vision for ongoing projects. 🧑‍⚖️


People are the heartbeat of your project. From the project manager to dedicated team members, everyone has a job to do. Their skills, involvement, and commitment become the driving force that can significantly influence how smoothly the project goes toward success. 💓

This pillar of project governance covers elements like goal setting and stakeholder communication to improve the contribution of each team member. 


Lastly, information is the fuel that keeps the project running without any problems. Clear, concise, and timely communication, along with accurate data, supports employees as well as decision-makers. The goal here is to get rid of departmental silos and hidden information pockets often found in cross-functional teams. 📢

Project Governance Roles

The three pillars that we discussed are closely tied to the various roles within project governance. Each role establishes a chain of action and accountability, ensuring project parameters like time, cost, and quality are honored.

Project owner

A project owner represents the organization and often engages with the project manager to see how things are shaping up. They’re responsible for aligning the project with delivery objectives. A project owner contributes to big-picture goals like carving out strategic direction and key documents like the mission statement and often holds the project manager accountable for the final outcome of the endeavor.


Project stakeholders cover all people or entities—from funders and team members to end-users—holding a vested interest in the outcome. They’ve invested with funds, expectations, labor, and cheers (or concerns) and are crucial for project performance. 🤑

Not sure who your stakeholders are? Explore stakeholder mapping templates within ClickUp for support. For example, the ClickUp Stakeholder Analysis Matrix Template helps you identify and manage stakeholders according to their vested interests.

ClickUp Stakeholder Analysis Matrix Template
Map stakeholder communications on a matrix in ClickUp

Advisory group

Finally, there’s the advisory group. This larger forum addresses risk management and ensures the project aligns with organization-wide interests. They’re the behind-the-scenes experts, each bringing their own unique skills.

Advisors contribute to the oversight function by constantly auditing processes and outcomes. When there’s a hiccup, they jump in, offering valuable insights to keep the show running smoothly. ⚒️

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How to Create a Project Governance Framework for Success: 6 Steps

Achieving effective project governance is no small feat! It demands the assistance of project management software to handle its various components.

That’s exactly what we’ll demonstrate: we’ll help you navigate the path to project success with ClickUp, an all-in-one project management solution!

ClickUp’s Project Management Suite is complete with tools and features to organize the process of setting and implementing a good project governance framework. 🤩

The platform offers a Project Hierarchy structure that allows you to manage your governance model, tasks, and subtasks in a logical manner. This helps establish clear accountability within your projects and enhances stakeholder engagement.

Let’s break the process into six easy steps!

Step 1: Define project objectives and scope

First things first, let’s map out what you want to achieve with your project. Why? This is like setting the destination on your GPS—it gives direction to your project, ensuring everyone is on the same page right from the get-go. 🧭

Just outline the goals, objectives, and scope in this step in detail. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Project goals and objectives: Outline what you’re aiming to achieve. Are there specific outcomes or deliverables you need to produce? Make sure these are realistic and align with your organization’s overall strategy
  • Project scope: This defines the boundaries of your project. What’ll be included and what won’t? Be specific to avoid scope creep later on
  • Document everything: Write everything down in a project charter or similar document. You can use project charter templates for additional help

Here’s a clue: Explore the ClickUp Goals feature! It lets you set goals and timelines with measurable metrics, track real-time progress, and keep everything super organized with Folders. Plus, you get this cool visual to monitor all your deliverables in one place.

Clickup Goals feature
Track your goals down to the most essential KPIs and automatically get detailed views into your progression

Step 2: Identify key project stakeholders and roles

Now, let’s talk about the people who will be in this with you. Identify key stakeholders and define their roles. Who plays what part? Knowing this helps create a supportive team where everyone knows their role to bring project success. Stakeholder roles include the project sponsor, project manager, project team, or even external parties like clients or suppliers. 🔑

There are two simple steps to organizing project stakeholders with ClickUp:

  1. Create a stakeholder registry: You can create individual tasks within a ClickUp List or Folder for each stakeholder. Fill in the Custom Fields with the corresponding stakeholder information for each task and use the description field to provide additional details about each, such as background, interests, priority status, and expectations
  2. Define the roles clearly: ClickUp has several templates to help you define roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability and streamline project execution. For example, with the ClickUp RACI Matrix (or Responsibility Assignment Matrix) Template, you get to assign tasks and set the decision-making authority
ClickUp RACI Matrix Template
Use the ClickUp RACI Matrix Template to outline the roles of your staff members in different tasks and activities

Step 3: Set project parameters across departments

Once you’ve identified your stakeholders, consider their needs and wants across departments. You can hold meetings with key stakeholders or a governance committee to set parameters on all kinds of project governance components, including:

Sounds overwhelming? This step is precisely why you need a reliable project management tool like ClickUp to centralize all discussion and documentation emerging from project governance planning.

ClickUp 3.0 is equipped with cross-collaboration, time management, meeting management, note taking, scheduling, and deployment tools to help you navigate and monitor project execution from A to Z. You’ll also love using ClickUp AI to generate structured documents, brainstorm next steps, and summarize lengthy texts, all functionalities designed to help you set up a governance framework in a timely manner.

ClickUp Docs, Chat, and List view in ClickUp
Monitor project updates, manage workflows, and collaborate with the team, all from your ClickUp Workspace

And here’s the cherry on top: ClickUp comes with extensive training support. Equip your project teams and stakeholders with the skills to navigate and make the most of its tools. 

Step 4: Establish communication protocols within project teams

Recent surveys indicate that a whopping 75% of project professionals foresee an increased reliance on collaboration tools for team dynamics. We couldn’t agree more!

Setting up effective communication channels and protocols involves creating clear, direct lines of communication between all team members, stakeholders, and other key players involved in the project. Smooth sailing, right? ⛵

Let’s do this:

  • Develop a communication plan: This should outline who needs to communicate, what information they need to share, when they should share it, and how they should disseminate it
  • Use reusable templates: Explore ClickUp’s reusable templates to add uniformity to your communication plan and logistics
  • Regular updates and meetings: Project status updates and meetings can help ensure that everyone is up-to-date, fostering a sense of belonging and engagement
ClickUp 3.0 Chat view simplified
Add team members to discussions and collaborate with ClickUp Chat in one space and avoid hopping between software

Here’s how ClickUp can elevate transparent communication for any project governance model:

  1. Engage with your team instantly using ClickUp’s in-app messaging feature, Chat view
  2. Edit documents collaboratively without overlaps and easily share them via URL with ClickUp Docs
  3. Visually convey task dependencies and relationships with ClickUp Whiteboards. Ensure a clear understanding of project dynamics and timelines for effective project governance
  4. Customize and manage tasks to align team processes with project requirements
  5. Stay in the loop with customizable notifications. Receive real-time updates when tasks are modified, ensuring you’re informed and can adapt your governance strategy promptly
  6. Download ClickUp for your Android or iOS devices to enjoy smooth performance on smartphones and even Apple Watches

Step 5: Implement monitoring and reporting mechanisms

An ideal governance model would include regular check-ins to catch issues early on and keep everything on track. This step requires building a system to serve as the dashboard for your project, making it easy to monitor progress and generate regular reports. It’s like having a pulse on your project’s health.

ClickUp 3.0 Dashboard Simplified
Get a holistic view of project statuses and remaining tasks across your team or department with Dashboards in ClickUp 3.0

ClickUp Dashboards swoop in to make your life easier and let you create a cool, customized dashboard that shows you everything you need to know. You open it, and boom! 💣 

Leverage Custom Cards, charts, graphs, and all the good stuff to assess if your project is cruising or needs a little boost. Maintain control in any work scenario—here are three sample business case uses of ClickUp Dashboards:

Development sprints

Effortlessly manage your team’s workload, whether it’s through scrum points or assigned tasks. Conduct discussions on any build challenges, track progress, and gauge team performance, all conveniently in one place.

Resource management

Visualize resource availability in your Dashboard and allocate everything strategically. Identify efficiently used or underutilized assets and personnel swiftly. Generate progress reports over time for seamless resource optimization.

Workload view in ClickUp
Understand at glance who on your team is under or over-worked so you can easily reallocate your resources

Business management

Plan, view, track, and assess periodical goals across diverse tasks, ensuring a uniform governance structure for all projects. The Dashboard works like a personalized control center to help you uncover bottlenecks in workflows and take preventive measures.

Step 6: Continuously evaluate and adjust

Projects are dynamic, just like life. Regularly review and adjust your governance framework based on project performance and changes in circumstances. Flexibility is key—it ensures your framework stays relevant and adapts to the evolving needs of the project.

ClickUp simplifies governance tasks by offering a range of views that align perfectly with the ever-changing nature of projects, ensuring you have the right lens for effective oversight and management.

Example of all the different ClickUp views
ClickUp’s 15+ views provide organizations with a wall-to-wall solution for every team

Here are some of our favorite views and their key benefits:

  • Board view for visual project tracking: It allows you to see tasks moving across stages, offering a dynamic visual representation of your project’s progress
  • List view for detailed task management: It lets you meticulously manage tasks, making it easy to oversee individual assignments and track progress step by step
  • Calendar view for scheduling: It ensures you stay on top of deadlines and time-sensitive tasks. Easily adjust your governance framework based on project timelines and ensure everything stays on schedule
  • Gantt Chart view for shifting project timelines: It’s your dynamic timeline tool, helping you visualize dependencies, adjust schedules, identify process improvement opportunities, and adapt your governance approach based on the evolving project landscape
  • Timeline view for milestone tracking: It’s like your project’s historical timeline, allowing you to review past achievements, plan for the future, and make informed adjustments to project governance components 
  • Team view for high-level project planning: Need to see the big picture? This view provides a high-level overview of projects, tasks, and team members. It’s perfect for capacity planning and people governance
ClickUp 3.0 List view bundle with Gantt and AI
ClickUp 3.0 gives you the power to transform and switch between different views while directly editing tasks with ClickUp AI
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Importance of Project Governance in Project Management

While the significance of project governance is evident in complex projects, its importance extends to all projects. It’s absolutely vital in these five areas:

  1. Risk management: Identifies, assesses, and addresses product or service delivery risks promptly, minimizing disruptions and enhancing project resilience
  2. Stakeholder engagement: Establishes clear communication channels, fostering engagement and collaboration among project stakeholders
  3. Accountability and decision-making: Defines the chain of responsibilities, enhancing accountability and streamlining decision-making processes for keeping projects stable in uncertain environments
  4. Performance measurement: Establishes metrics and KPIs to measure project performance across departments, facilitating continuous improvement and learning
  5. Compliance and standards adherence: Ensures adherence to organizational policies, industry standards, and regulatory requirements, mitigating legal and reputational risks

Good to know: Project governance vs. organizational governance

Project governance and organizational governance sound like overlapping concepts, but they differ in scope and focus. The first one is specific to projects, involving the management framework for decision-making and execution throughout the project life cycle. It defines roles, responsibilities, and processes tailored to orchestrate project success. 💫

On the other hand, organizational governance has a broader scope, addressing the entire organization’s structure, policies, and decision-making processes. It sets the framework for sustained, long-term operations, guiding strategic objectives and overall functionality across various business processes and functions—like sales and HR—within the organization.

Here’s a table outlining the key differences between project governance and organizational governance:

AspectProject governanceOrganizational governance
Focus and scopeConcerned with project initiation, execution, and successEncompasses the entire organization’s activities
DurationRelatively temporary, aligned with project life cycle and market shiftsPermanent, providing an enduring framework that can last for decades
Decision-makingProject-specific decisionsStrategic direction at the organizational level
ResponsibilitiesDefines deliverables for project managers and team membersAssigns roles for executives, departments, and employees
ScaleMicro-level, limited to project planningMacro-level, guiding the organization as a whole
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Helm Successful Projects: Use ClickUp for Project Governance

Running a project without order is like driving blindfolded. Give it a go yourself if you’re not convinced, but if you value order and efficiency, then you get the importance of it.

With ClickUp’s array of features, from seamless task handling to top-notch communication tools and issue management, setting up the right project governance model becomes a breeze.

So, whether you’re a skeptic or a seasoned believer, ClickUp is worth a try! It’s free, and you can always count on it to help anchor your projects meticulously. Trust us; you’ll wonder how you managed without it so far. 😁

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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