This is why you need a top-down approval..

Creating a project without getting any support from important stakeholders is a disaster. This is regularly happening when a business initiative is created by a middle management or by certain SBU (or LOB), but the initiative approval is not following the correct flow of approval process (Top-down approval).

Now, the middle manager or an SBU might want to show their great pro-activeness in coming out with certain business ideas and they eagerly want to realize it soonest possible without thinking the impact of the stakeholder engagement. When that initiative is translated into a project, some other supporting functional units or SBUs might not aware of the existence of the project and they might find that the project has competing resource needs and competing business directions, as compared to their own existing projects.

As the result, the project manager and project team will be going through a tough time to move forward in the project and to get resources from other SBUs or functional units. A lot of their time will be wasted in arguing, convincing and re-planning activities and this will demotivate the team members a lot.

Based on PMI framework, any project must be approved by using the proper project governance process. All business initiatives or strategic plans that span across functional units, must be presented first in the company’s board meeting or leadership team. If the idea or initiative has been approved, further analysis needs to be done in pre-project works phase. In this phase the business case and benefit management plan must be presented and further approval by the management team is needed.

At the end of the day, if the company’s management team agrees to proceed with the project (after further deliberation, project prioritization process and Project Charter development in initiation), then the whole project phases can be implemented easily and the resources can be gathered easily from other supportive functional units. That’s the power of top-down approval process. This is a healthy environment for the organization to survive in this never-ending technology evolution era.

Even tough this is a basic knowledge for most of the project management practitioners, I can see that there are still a habit from middle management team trying to bulldoze the proper project business governance, just to satisfy their immediate objectives. This has more significant impact in the large corporation and it needs to be avoided.

*If the you are the decision maker for your department and the project or initiative is only using your own department resources, then that should not a problem at all.

Share your thought on this as well..

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-you-need-top-down-approval-mohd-rosli-mohd-bakri-pmp-prince2/

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