EXPLORING CURRENT PRACTICE IN THE FORMATION AND FUNCTIONING OF PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEES
Literature aimed at practitioners recommends dedicated Steering Committees for oversight of a project. However, most scientific research focusses on project governance in general or the role of the single owner. This paper adds to literature by inductively exploring the formation and the functioning of a Project Steering Committees, based on experiences of both members and project managers. Nine project managers and four Steering Committee members were interviewed. Data was analyzed, leading to five aggregate dimensions: on relevance and goals, the formation process, decisionmaking, roles and responsibilities of the members and ideal characteristics of the members. Findings were triangulated by a qualitative questionnaire. The study shows that dedicated Project Steering Committees are used for oversight of a project. As predicted by literature, the oversight consists of governance and support activities. The Steering Committee structure is primarily based on existing practices in the organization and the needed support from owners and other stakeholders. The project owner, often in consultation with the project manager, selects Steering Committee members based on functional representation. Competences needed for a role in the Steering Committee and interest in the project are generally taken for granted, but not always present. Follow-up research can focus on the roles and responsibilities of the members, characteristics the members should have, and the decision-making process.