Governance is the mechanism that defines the decision rights for the project and determines how those decisions are made using the principles and practices guiding the execution of the project. Decision rights the the rules of how choices pertaining to planning, developing, and executing the project are made by the participants. Once the project is initiated, capabilities, requirements planning, budget, control, and management all create situations in which someone has to decide.
The decision rights process us the mechanism for making those decisions. In the absence of decision rights, the project participants have few mechanisms for resolving the conflicts that normally arise.
The governance of projects is concerned with 5 areas:
- Business success
- Customer impact
- Team impact
- Project efficiency
- Prepartion for the future
Governance tells us what processes, principles, and practices are needed and how they are implemented. Project governance tells us how to make decisions.
So when you hear that a proposed method, concept, or even a hash tag is about making decisions ask what is the mechanism applied, in what domain and context, that actually allows those decisions to be made? In the nuclear power software business NQA-1 is a governance process for developing systems. In the flight avionics business DO-178B is part of the governance process. In enterprise IT ITIL speaks to the governance of IT products and their deployment in the business.
Announcing something is about making decisions does not make it so in the absence of a framework, domain, and context in which to make those decisions.