Steve McGrath

The Exercise of Organisational Power 

This talk will approach project management from the perspective of the exercise of organisational power, as seen through the lenses of governance and accountability, applied to (steering) committees. It will show how the terms used in describing governance fit together, indicating the implications for what governance is and also what it is not. This brings in the related concept of accountability when applied to organisations. The talk will show how accountabilities and responsibilities transition in delegation to lower hierarchical levels, providing a trap for using RACI codes across these levels. A common problem with steering committee governance arrangements will then be outlined and a model presented for determining whether committees should be established to steer or to advise.

About Steve McGrath

Steve McGrath is nearing completion of a PhD in project management at the University of Southern Queensland at Springfield. His research interests are in governance and the cross-discipline impacts of “generic” project, program and portfolio management methodology and terminology, particularly between the civil infrastructure and ICT areas. He is a civil engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and an AIPM Certified Practicing Project Director, with over 40 years of experience in developing, planning and delivering civil infrastructure projects as well as strategy and business development projects in the roads, busways, rail, marine and aviation areas. He led the team that developed the current Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads “OnQ” project management system that at the last available measurement in 2012 had been used in delivering more than $20B of civil infrastructure and business development/ ICT projects. Through its availability on the internet since 2003, it has influenced project management practice outside that department, with the site receiving 17,000 hits per month in 2009.