Governance support

In my up-coming book Basic Service Management, I am using the term "governance support" to distinguish from governance.

In order to have governance, the managers and staff need to provide governance support: policy enforcement, strategy planning, measurement, audit, reporting. These aren’t governance – they are the parts of operations that support and “plug into” governance: take direction, provide monitoring. They often get referred to as governance but not in this book.

Governance support cascades down: you have policy specific to service management, and reporting specific to it. But the governance itself always flows back to the organisation’s governors. There is no such thing as service governance. Put simply, the Board are responsible for service: the accountability cannot be delegated, only the management, and the governance support.

I dislike the continual debasement of the word governance (another example today) so I'm making a stand by introducing "governance support". Perhaps we could refer to internal "Governance Support Services" or GSS. Thoughts?


Suspect of Governance Support as a not neede concept

in my view the concept of Governance Support does not need to be added if you take into consideration the relationship between IT Governance ad Management. You have evaluated this in a positive way some time ago, naming Mark Toomey. On the basis of this relationship I think that policy enforcement, strategic planning, measurement, audit , reporting - that is correct to consider as parts of operations that support IT Governance - can be considered as components of the Management, that is controlled by the IT Governance and that in fact supports it

letting people use the word

Governance support is indeed part of management, but people insist on calling it governance. By labelling it "governance support" one makes clear that it isn't governance while still letting people use the word

I know what you mean...

....the possible catch though is it makes "governance support" tasks sound even more like an overhead rather than a value add. we can of course debate if governace can be a value add - I've asked elsewhere if it makes sense to talk about ROI for IT governance.

Imposing structure on reality

In my "proper" audit days I always took the view that I would never ask a manager to produce information for me as an auditor that they shouldn't already be producing for themselves as a manager. i think that holds good for governance. On the other hand it can help to formalise the link in order to keep the governors doing governance. I find ISO 38500 useful because it really focusses on what governance is about.

James Finister

You & me against the philistines of debasement

My blog has been subtitled "Enabling IT Governance" for some years now, following exactly the same thought process.

Charles T. Betz

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