• O’BRIEN / Governance Design

  • Better decisions through better governance

    Click for more
Get started

Our Approach

We work with organisations to design and implement governance systems and structures that are proportionate, strategic and valuable.

Why Effective Governance?

Effective governance leads to improved decision-making that helps organisations to achieve their aims.

What is Governance?

Governance refers to accountability, decision-making processes, and the exercise of authority.  O’BRIEN / Governance Design works to support organisations in the following ways:

  • We help you to find practical solutions to today’s corporate governance challenges
  • We work collaboratively with you to develop and enhance decision-making structures and performance
  • We conduct evaluations to improve policy effectiveness

The services we provide are detailed below.

Why do you need Effective Governance?

Effective governance contributes to the implementation of strategy, brings efficiencies, encourages respectful debate, integrates functions, and aligns aims with resources. We work with organisations to make sure that their governance design is capable of achieving these benefits and of positively contributing to their operations.

About Us

Trish O’Brien established O’BRIEN / Governance Design in 2016. She works with a number of Associates in fulfilling its services and brings the following experiences to the business:

Team Member
Trish O'Brien


  • Over two decades of middle and senior management experience evenly divided between the private and public sectors;
  • Has worked with an extensive network of clients from government departments and agencies, professional and representative bodies, and private enterprises;
  • Doctorate in Governance.

Team Member
Claire Byrne


  • 15 years’ experience as a Director of Corporate Affairs with governance, finance and HR responsibilities;
  • A governance practitioner: Chairing and independent membership of Audit and Risk Committees;
  • Holds an MBA, a Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution, and is a qualified mediator.

Team Member
Sarah King


  • Project management specialist: from initial requirements-gathering and identification of appropriate targets, through to project completion and evaluation;
  • Extensive experience in the utilisation of data and ICT to support decision-making in both the public and private sectors;
  • Holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Higher Diploma in Computer Science.

Our Services

We provide consultancy services, workshops, and corporate governance One Question Guides to clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Details of our services are available by clicking on the relevant headings.

Board and Committee Evaluation

Board and committee self-evaluation, and external evaluation, are now standard requirements of most governance codes.  Evaluation is also a characteristic of good governance. We provide a range of services in this area.

Strategic Planning

 Strategic planning provides an opportunity to re-establish an organisation, both for its staff and for its stakeholders.


Stopping to evaluate is essential.  It provides an opportunity to see if a policy, project, or initiative is meeting its objectives. 

Facilitation Services

When conducting an evaluation, developing a strategy or looking for input into new policy direction, external support can prove very important.

Governance Coaching

One-to-one coaching with Board and committee members allows them to familiarise themselves with governance topics, as they encounter them.

Just put [php_everywhere] where you want the code to be executed.

One ? Guides

Making the complicated simple
Already have an account? Login below

What are the One Question Guides?

One Question Guides provide practical governance support. Each online guide focuses on a single governance question: breaks it down, explains it, and makes recommendations.

Our first One Question Guide addresses the requirement for Board’s to conduct a Self-Assessment Evaluation under the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. We have used our experience in facilitating self-assessment exercises for Boards to produce an 8-stage model for getting the most value from this exercise. In addition to providing detailed guidance, the Board Self-Assessment Evaluation guide includes a fillable pdf version of the Board Self-Assessment Evaluation Questionnaire and a series of templates that will enable the Board Secretary to analyse and report on the outcomes of the evaluation and to capture any actions agreed by the Board.

As the Board also has responsibility for its committees conducting a similar exercise, we are publishing two supplements that provide a summary of the process and fillable pdf questionnaires for the Audit and Risk Committee and for other Committees of the Board. To find out more, or to make a purchase, please click on the link below.


Contact Us

Get in touch via our contact form or email us directly. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

O’BRIEN / Governance Design
Office 1, Unit 3,
1st Floor Carlisle House,
Adelaide Road,
Co Wicklow,
A98 R8P3