Program Governance: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Program Governance

1st Edition

By Muhammad Ehsan Khan

Auerbach Publications

220 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-09-05
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Although program management has received much attention in recent books, program governance remains a relatively new subject. While selected books and standards touch on this important topic, few are devoted to program governance as a subject. This book fills that need.

Program Governance provides a thorough understanding of governance while reviewing the underlying theories. The first book dedicated to this subject, it caters to the needs of practitioners, researchers, and students of management and governance.

The book provides a holistic view of program governance while covering multiple elements of program governance. Topics covered include the governance structure, governance roles, governance functions, governance mechanisms, factors influencing the governance framework, and different domains of programs that come under the jurisdiction of a governance framework.

The book presents the author’s own program governance framework, called the Contingent Governance Framework for Programs (CGFPrgTM), which is adaptable to suit different program contexts. This adaptability ensures that the different elements of governance, including structure and mechanisms, are aligned with program requirements. Such alignment results in an efficient and effective environment with an increased probability of program success.

The text supplies references to research and case studies to help readers understand key concepts in more detail. It also includes objectives at the end of each chapter to help readers gauge their knowledge of the subject.

The book clarifies the linkage/dependencies between program governance and other governance levels, such as international governance and corporate governance, which have a strong influence on governance framework for programs. It also explains the difference between the dynamics of temporary organizations, such as projects and programs, and permanent organizations. This distinction between temporary and permanent organizations provides readers with a practical understanding of how governance should be implemented in both types of organizations.

Table of Contents



Defining Governance

Governance at Multiple Levels



Transaction Cost Economics

Transactions—Core Elements and Attributes

Behavioral Assumptions

Governance Structure Attributes

Hazards of Concern

Incomplete Contracting

Bilateral Dependency and Fundamental Transformation

Adaptation or Maladaptation

Linking Governance, Governance Structures, and Contracts

The Impact of Asset Specificity and Behavioral Assumptions on Contracts

Application to Projects and Programs



Agency Theory

Agency Problems and Agency Loss

Agency Costs and Contracts

Application and Support


Complementary Theories

Stewardship Theory

Resource Dependency Theory



Corporate Governance

Why Corporate Governance?

Defining Corporate Governance

Factors Affecting Corporate Governance and Its Evolution

Corporate Governance Institutions

The Board of Directors

Auditors and Their Independence

Functions of Corporate Governance

Reporting and Disclosure

Resource Management

Risk Management

Performance Management

Relationship Management

Strategic Oversight


The Human Side of Corporate Governance

Ethics and Ethical Compliance

Rationality and Behavioral Aspects

Design and Implementation Considerations




Temporary Organizations

What Are Temporary Organizations?

Projects and Programs as Temporary Organizations




Defining Programs

Program Characteristics

Benefits Delivery

Strategic Focus

Intended Temporariness

The Need for Integration

Uncertainty at the Core

Delivering Change

Adaptability to Change

Program Categorization

Program Management

Program Life Cycle



Benefits Delivery


External Context of the Program

Organizational Fit

Program Flexibility

Organizational Stability

Resource Availability




Program Governance

Defining Program Governance

Why Should Programs Be Governed?

Program Governance Perspectives



Program Governance Domains

Program Structure and Processes

Program Resources

Program Strategy

Program Decisions

Escalated Risks and Issues

Program Progress

Program Benefits

Program Stakeholders



Program Governance Functions

Benefits Definition

Governance and Management Framework

Organizing and Structuring

Process and Mechanism

Ensuring Strategic Alignment

Directing Benefits Delivery

Interfacing and Coordination

Reviewing Progress

Providing Governance Oversight

Support and Guidance

Monitoring and Control

Reporting and Communicating

Authorization and Approvals



Program Governance Institutions and Roles

The Board of Directors

Portfolio Management

Executive Sponsors

The Program Governance Board

The Program Management Office

Advisory Panels

Audit Committees

Generic Roles—The Broker and Steward



Program Governance Mechanisms

Strategic Reviews

Stage Gate Reviews

Periodic Health Checks

On-Demand Consultation and Reviews

Program Audits

Planned and On-Demand Reporting

Quality Review

Advisory Sessions



Factors Affecting Program Governance

Organizational Factors

Corporate Governance

Organizational Governance Paradigm

External Factors

Cultural Influences

Legislation, Regulations, and Standards

Program Attributes

Benefits Delivery Mechanisms

Program Structure

Program Uncertainty and Complexity

Program Life Cycle Stage

Program Strategic Value

Program Performance

Differences in Governance Regimes—Some Research



Contingent Governance Framework for Programs (CGFPrg™)

Contingency Theory

Aligning Agility and Discipline: Contingent Governance Framework for Programs

Influential Factors

Governance Framework Elements

Guidelines to Implement a Contingent Governance Framework for Programs



Appendix: Glossary of Acronyms


About the Author

Dr. Muhammad Ehsan Khan is an entrepreneur and an internationally acknowledged professional on the subject of Governance and Management of Strategic Initiatives. An award-winning strategist with over a decade of leadership success, and a career that has driven multi-million dollar projects for various clients in Middle East and Pakistan, He is a founding member, and presently serves as a Partner/VP Operations and Service delivery, in a UAE based firm Inseyab Consulting & Information Solutions LLC.

He holds a doctoral degree in Strategic, Programme and Project Management (Major de Promotion/Valedictorian) from SKEMA Business School, France and a certified Program (PgMP®)

) and Project Management Professional (PMP®). Ehsan is a recipient of PMI James R. Snyder Award for the year 2012 and was awarded the Young Researcher of the year award by IPMA in 2013. He is the author of first every book on the subject of program governance.

Dr. Khan has provided management, consulting and mentoring services in the Middle East Region. He has been involved in establishment of PMO, implementation of management and governance frameworks and related practices and tools, in order to create an environment of project management excellence. He has also been managing medium-large scale ICT programs and projects for various customers, especially for ones in the governmental sector.

About the Series

Best Practices in Portfolio, Program, and Project Management

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)