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Tool: Design governance

Typical use (type of issue/project)

To improve the efficiency of decision making and initiatives in your organisation by outlining reporting lines and accountabilities.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself and your team.

Tips for effective use

You must get agree all roles and signoff accountabilities from the start, ensuring that you have effective participation and commitment from all levels and units.

Signals of successful use

Employees understand their responsibilities within the initiative, as well as who they must report to.

Signals of unsuccessful use

Not defining the key relationships of the different units within the function and how to maintain them so that clear reporting lines are not established.

Links to other tools

Work unit and Role profiles.

Design governance

Governance is not about day to day operations but about how important decisions are taken, who makes them and how they are implemented.

Governance is:

  • Aligning the organisation with and supporting the business strategies by delivering effective and efficient products and services
  • Deciding the important goals of the function and how to achieve them
  • Monitoring and providing feedback, reporting on implementation of key decisions and operations
  • Fostering continuous improvements.

Below is an example of the governance design for a typical transformation project:

All roles within the governance structure have different objectives:

  1. Strategic governance – for example steering group, HR leadership team
  • Focus on HR strategy and direction
  • Overall governance and performance (including actions to support the HR transformation)
  • Reviewing the HR organisation effectiveness (roles and accountabilities)
  1. Functional governance – for example project sponsor and project managers

Focus on program and actions aligned to the HR strategic direction and overall transformation needs

  1. Operational management – for example workstream leads and their teams:
  • Focus on day-to-day service delivery
  • Monitor service performance
  • Track trends and solve issues
  • Review major project initiatives and their impact on the HR production environment
  • Execute initiatives
  • Maintain and execute management control discipline

In order to ensure proper management of the governance structure, a list of meetings and a status reporting schedule must be agreed from the offset.


Below is an example status reporting schedule for a transformation project: