Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sacred PM Practices -- Steering Committee

You have been given a large IT project to manage? One of your first tasks is to form a steering committee. Right?

Wrong. The findings from my research show that large IT projects do succeed without forming such groups.

  • 40% of the successful projects did not have a steering committee

  • Of the 60% of the projects that did have a steering committee, only 2 were described as effective

I am not advocating the elimination of all steering committees. I am just pointing out that they are not always a prerequisite for success. Project Smart offers some of the best advice I have seen lately – form a steering committee only if the problems you expect to encounter might be solved by a steering committee. Don’t jump to creating such a committee without first answering the question, could a steering committee help the project to succeed? It sounds like common sense, but how many times have you seen a steering committee formed simply because the project is large?

Only two of the twenty-five projects in my research had effective steering committees. This suggests that effective steering committees are rare. Have you ever seen an effective steering committee? If so, what made it effective?

1 comment:

  1. One thing you do want is omewhere to escalate problems...