It really can be a distraction having to prepare for a project governance review, especially when trying to weather a storm of project problems at the same time.
Perhaps the solution is providing the governance board with a ‘weather station’; real-time project governance data so they have continuous, up-to-date insight into the status of projects; both the current performance conditions data (cost, schedule, quality) AND the future performance conditions data (stakeholder confidence level, process adherence level, sponsor participation level). Done well, this could streamline, if not eliminate, the periodic ‘status’ meeting.
Automating the collection and sharing of relevant project control data (especially the predictive measures) would address a core issue in the IT industry; high project failure rates because early warning signs data is ignored…or not systematically collected in the first place.
Takeaway: To address the project performance challenge, the IT industry press calls for tightly centralized (tightly process managed) PMOs on one extreme, or completely localized (in touch with the business) PMs on the other. The real need is for collecting and sharing early warning signs information. We need to automate the collection and presentation of the predictive indicators; relevant, consistent, reliable, transparent, actionable project conditions data so that PMs know WHAT TO DO NEXT to avoid project “surprises” and the governance board knows that the PMs are addressing the factors that determine project success.