IT Governance Charter Toolkit

Key imperatives, elements, and examples

With so many stakeholders invested in IT-related projects, having a sustainable structure for decision-making is key. To guide your decision-making process, distribute responsibilities among committees, and encourage shared accountability, we recommend creating an IT governance charter.

Business leaders and IT executives should use our toolkit to determine the critical components of a charter based on their organization's distinct needs. How should you structure committees? How often should members meet? How will you measure productivity?

First, review our recommendations and examples, then answer 10 questions to develop the framework of your own charter.


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Key imperatives for developing an IT governance charter

1. Define the purpose of each IT governance committee.

2. Provide clear guidance on the roles and responsibilities of the IT Steering Committee and any subcommittees.

3. Establish the principles that direct the decisions for the IT governance committees and more importantly the oversight responsibilities for those decisions.

  • Create guidelines reflective of organizational priorities to steer decision-making efforts
  • Address how project accountability will be assigned and success will be measured

Elements of an IT governance charter

To give you an idea of what each component looks like, we have compiled examples and recommendations from different charters.

Organization and Structure of Governance

Recommendation: Streamline governance structures with care to provide appropriate input without compromising the efficiency of decision making.

Rationale: The purpose of the governance structure is to provide an appropriate say in decision making to all parties affected by the work of IT.

Some institutions find that a single IT steering committee is adequate to provide effective governance while others require a more complex hierarchy of subcommittees. The need for subcommittees is determined by the volume and scope of the IT efforts undertaken by the institution. The greater the number of project requests, ongoing implementations, and scope of the IT portfolio, the greater the need for delegation of responsibilities by the steering committee to various subcommittees. Business and clinical partnerships that require close coordination of IT may also necessitate the use of subcommittees.

The greater the number of committee members, the more difficult it may be to schedule meetings and make decisions so, ideally, each committee would consist of between three and seven members not including support staff. A large committee membership is a clear sign that a subcommittee structure should be considered.

Learn more

Download the PDF to learn more imperatives of a governance charter, and get 10 questions to guide your framework.


Next, Check Out

Compendium of IT Governance Structures