Program and Project: Implementing a Governance Framework 

By Jasmin Ahmetbasic, Lead Program Manager & Team Lead @ Authority Partners

You’ve got 10 projects managed by three different team leads. How do you create a governance framework that provides a senior manager or director with the kind of information and high-level overview and program health they need to understand if program goals are being met? In this blog we explore how Authority Partners has put to use an innovative blend of tools to provide a solution to this persistent problem. 

Establishing evaluation criteria that works across multiple programs and projects can often be difficult. How do you create an analytic framework for very different kinds of programs and projects? Is it even reasonable to set common parameters between projects or between programs? Or, do we need a segmented and tailored approach to better evaluate our processes across our roster of deliverables? 

At Authority Partners, with over 500 employees and multiple IT projects on the go within multiple programs, we are constantly dealing with these questions. As each client is different, each program is different, so asking the right questions is as important as finding the relevant answers and finding the right balance between adjusting to the client’s needs and introducing governance. 

Introducing governance is the biggest challenge. When we looked for an off-the-shelf governance solution on the market, but we didn’t find anything that was able to address our concerns. So we developed our own blend of tools. 

One solution we came up with was to use MS Teams to create a high-level governance framework. Everyone in the company was already using this common piece of software. It made sense to use this readily available interface, accessible to all team members, particularly program managers and directors, to help them assess the work of the project teams under their supervision.  This approach meant that the risk of a learning curve and the risk of low initial adoption was significantly reduced. 

One of the questions that came up was: what do we look for at this higher level of analysis? To find out, we interviewed the program and project managers in our company to determine which metrics they were using to evaluate the projects they were supervising.

High Level Governance Framework  

At Authority Partners we have a program management office (PMO). Our PMO Director is ultimately responsible for overseeing all our programs and the different projects that our teams are working on. The PMO directs a pool of program managers (PMs) and scrum masters (SMs). PMs are responsible for program and project management, and to act as the interface between a client and our organization. It is within the context of a program that interaction with the client, and the delivery of client value, happens. Scrum masters are servant leaders of teams tech-facing, responsible for managing a project’s IT programming and development.  

The PMO Director needs to have an eye on the budgets, billables and KPI targets driven by the program managers and their teams. Ultimately, the PMO and PMs need a governance framework to provide a clear overview of key performance indicators (KPIs), budgets and timelines to make sure that teams are working efficiently and client expectations are being met.  

To create a governance framework, we needed to find out what best fit our needs as a company and then establish some shared measuring tools among our program managers. Our interviews helped establish those common metrics. We ended up deciding on 10 elements and designing our MS Teams template around this project evaluation criteria: Stakeholder Register, Risk Log, Action Log, Wiki, Notes, MS Roadmap, MS Project and Integration with Azure DevOps or JIRA for Backlog management – KPIs with a full insight into program / project health.   

Team members are now using the MS Teams governance framework that we developed to make connections between the different components of a project in their day-to-day activities. This includes updating notes, modifying roadmaps, changing action logs in Excel and revising KPIs in Power BI.  

Prior to implementation, these elements were scattered throughout our systems and only accessible using the bookmarks in an employee’s web browser. Now, all aspects that define a program are collated within a single site on a page in an MS Teams’ channel – a single interface brings all these elements together. All of this is now an official Authority Partners PMO governance template within MS Teams, serving as a single touchpoint for all parties.   

Added Value for Managers, Employees and Clients 

The governance framework also enables us to segment and evaluate program areas. For example, it makes it much easier for us to generate a snapshot of all projects we are working on in a particular domain, such as the mortgage industry or the oil and gas sector.  

Do these programs and projects share any common elements that we can use to generate synergies and improve our offering to our clients and partners? Is there a strategy we can implement that saves clients time by avoiding having to reinvent a new solution at each iteration? 

From this higher-level vantage point, our focus moves towards objectives and key results (OKRs) rather than just KPIs. This allows the PMO and PMs to finetune the value proposition for our clients and focus on the objectives we share as a company. 

The governance framework also serves as an excellent training tool. It helps onboard newly appointed PMs by giving them a single point of access, quickly bringing them up to speed on the technical specs and vocabulary being used by other members in their team.   

It also makes it much easier for senior managers and those at the director level to get an overview of how things are moving forward. By helping them identify issues that can be solved by reaching out to the client or contacting colleagues working on the project, senior managers can address client concerns and solve problems quickly.   

Authority Partners is a US-based international IT consultancy and service provider. With offices around the world, we are able to offer expert solutions and a level of technological excellence that sets us apart from the competition. To our clients we are partners who deliver business outcomes. 

We are Authority Partners.  

To learn more about how we can help your business, please reach out to us here or via email at