Information technology governance has become a key issue for organizations as IT decision-making authority and responsibility is devolved away from a central IT function to local IT units and increasingly out of the remit of IT specialists altogether. Research to date has either been conceptual treatises on the issue, or recounts the structures and mechanisms that are currently in place in the organizations studied, even though these may have emerged rather than having been explicitly planned. This paper reports on research that is exploring how to describe, diagnose, and design appropriate IT governance structures. Using a participatory research design, where researchers and practitioners are both co-subjects and coresearchers in the research process, it proposes Beer’s viable systems model (VSM) as a guiding framework in considering IT governance. It illustrates how the VSM-influenced IT governance model can be used to describe, diagnose, and design an effective governance structure.