High performing organisations bear 5 common traits and the most important is that they ensure senior management engagement with realistic expectations and ongoing support. In fact in a study by APM in 2015, 8 out of 12 factors for projects success were considered to be down to the sponsor role.
* Create or destroy value
* Determine lifecycle progress
* Pivotal link to strategy & organisation
* Separation of decision-making responsibilities
* Accountability for realisation of benefits
* Oversight of PM discipline
* Oversight of stakeholder management
Despite the importance of the sponsor to the success of a project, we find that sponsors often don’t fully appreciate their pivotal role, or as a result make or delegate the time for the task. There is a wealth of resources for project managers, but oddly very little for project sponsors.
Whereas the PM is responsible for creating the deliverables which create a capability for an organisation, the sponsor is accountable for ensuring that the organisation realises the benefits from that capability long after the project is completed.
The sponsor sits across the project and the business and should provide essential leadership. The perfect sponsor is an executive with ultimate accountability. If they can’t fulfil the role on a day-to-day basis then they must delegate tasks (rather than abdicating responsibility) to ensure that the PM is not left stranded.
5 personal attributes of successful sponsors:
Useful Reference: APM Governance SIG publication: Sponsoring Change 2nd Edition 2018.
As well as offering advice and guidance to organisations on how to properly organise project sponsorship, we regularly support and coach sponsors. If required we can also provide more day-to-day support through our vPMO services. Follow the link to learn more.