David Tilk, PMP, is a principal in risk assurance,
PwC, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
of information and keep to the right pace of the
meeting. Agendas should be focused on decision
making and therefore should present the specific questions to be answered by the committee.
I’ve often seen steering committee meetings go
overboard with endless discussion and lose sight
of the meeting’s goal, so it’s important to ( 1) first
understand and then follow the agenda of a key
governance meeting, ( 2) set the tone, pace and
purpose early in the meeting, and ( 3) ensure active
participation by all members.
4. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS: CHALLENGE,
You set the vision and agenda for the program
and facilitate the steering committee as a governing body. Challenge the project team to think
past the upcoming week or month or phase.
What are the overall goals and visions of the project? What is the total cost? Is there a bigger end
goal or bigger picture? Challenging your fellow
committee members with such questions ensures
that a level of robust discussion is reached and a
problem is attacked from all angles. Answers to
those questions will, hopefully, lead to a more focused project and enable the project team to own
its deliverables and execution while you focus on
the greater value to be delivered.
You’re there for a reason: You and your busi-
5. CONTRIBUTE TO A STRONG TONE
ness unit will be affected by changes. So make
sure you’re getting value from the project.
AT THE TOP
Steering committee members must be advocates
of the project for their teams. Don’t underestimate
the importance of that advocacy. Make sure your
team is well represented for the change and will be
prepared by means of an adequate organizational-change work stream. You may have to consider
whether the organization’s leaders need additional
resources or should turn to external advisers to
help drive the change within the company. Also
factor in the culture of the organization, organizational readiness and ways to most effectively transition to the new way of work.
Ensure your governance peers and leadership
are on board and are sending the right messages
to their own teams. Your role will be to meet with
them personally and enable the organization’s leaders to serve as change agents. If you find that recep-tivity to the change is not working, be prepared to
be flexible and to change direction. And always be
brave and well informed. PM
No one knows
better than you, the
practitioners “in the
trenches.” So every
month, PM Network
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and all project
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