Five Issues Related To Project Culture Vs. Project Governance

Project culture and project governance need to go hand in hand for any project to be successful. Often, project managers and departmental heads are solely focused on the end result, and do not realize when the project culture falls through. Statistics report that nearly 50 percent of corporate projects fail globally.

It does not come as a surprise that most of these companies have the tools, processes and resources to accomplish a project, yet the project fails. So the obvious reason behind the failure has to be mismatch between the project culture and the governance. Here are five issues that arise due to inter-linked project culture-project governance fallback.

  • Dynamics: A negative project culture gives a setback to the efforts of good project governance. For instance, you may have clear-cut processes and hierarchies for smooth work-flow, but without the right culture, employees will not be motivated enough to perform well. High attrition rates or employee dissatisfaction is a clear indicator that the project culture needs some work.
  • Deadlines: Project deadlines can drive project managers to take drastic decisions, but at the end of the day, a project is much more than filled-up timesheets. The project team is the backbone of your project, and while deadlines do matter, project managers should know when to push for quicker results. They should also have a fair idea about the project-duration and know when to stand up for the team and acknowledge that it may take longer than the anticipated time for project’s completion.
  • Hierarchy: While, a positive project culture, where employees easily interact with each other is important in a workplace, establishing a hierarchy is also crucial. Employees at different levels of the hierarchy should be able to mingle and communicate with each other, while respecting the hierarchy.
  • Processes: Good project governance means that you have tried and tested the processes. Yet at the same time the project culture and work atmosphere should not be just about that. In an ideal setting, employees at the entry level should be able to interact with senior staff, and senior staff should be willing to accommodate changes for the benefit of the whole team, as opposed to keeping an eye out only on the project goals.
  • Ethics: It is hard to define a company’s ethics, but you can easily identify it when you see it. Though project ethics should be ideally aligned with the ethics of the company, more often than not, the situation is different. Compliance and conforming to ethical standards is the key, even if it is not emphasized as much as the project governance elements.
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