Passive-aggressive governance

At what point governance simply become a tool to shield against accountability?

A business executive asked me to review the governance process of their IT organization. He complained that the current governance wasn't meeting their needs, that it was too tedious and didn't help the business at all. 

The process was fairly typical and consisted in the business units submitting their requests for new projects, and then a committee prioritized projects and approved them. 

As part of my evaluation, I interviewed the CIO to learn a little bit more about the drivers of this new governance process. His answer was simple: "I was tired of hearing the business complain about what project gets done. I figured I'll let them decide everything, they won't be able to complain anymore."

But total control is not necessarily a good thing. Especially when you don't know what you don't know. The business units were requesting new systems, but didn't know if it was the right thing to ask. They needed someone to take ownership of the entire vision. 

What drives your governance process? The desire to do what's best for the organization or to simply avoid accountability?

Posted on January 28, 2014 and filed under blog.