This video outlines the sponsor’s role and responsibilities, and the difference between a project sponsor and a project manager.
- The key role for any project, program, or portfolio is the sponsor. According to the APM, "the sponsor is accountable "for ensuring that the work is governed effectively "and delivers the objectives that meet identified needs." In this video, we'll talk a little bit about some of the things a sponsor needs to do, the major difference between a project sponsor and project manager, and the sponsor's responsibilities. One of the most important things a sponsor does is to make sure the project or program is aligned strategically with the organization's goals. This helps to keep the project in line with the greater ethos and purpose of the organization. To do this, they'll need to put in place effective governance and keep control of the work being done, making sure the project, program, or portfolio delivers the objectives and making important, well-informed decisions. They'll also need to promote the project, portfolio, or program and support the project or program manager, acting as an interface between the project or program and the business. So the role of the sponsor is critical, but also very diverse. As you can see, the project sponsor should focus on why the project is being done, while the project manager needs to focus on how to accomplish it. There should be focused on the outcomes of the project and the benefits it will provide, while the project manager will focus on the outputs and processes. The sponsor needs to work closely with the manager but also needs to let them run the operational side of the project. Okay, so now we've talked about what the role of a sponsor looks like and what the difference is between the sponsor and the manager. Let's finish this video with a quick look at some of the responsibilities of a sponsor. The sponsor needs to own the business case and ultimately they're accountable for delivering the benefits of the project to the business. Again, this links closely to the idea that they focus on the why of the project. The sponsor will need to approve the project and program management plan, PMP. This essentially lays out the baselines, the scope, timescales, and budget, as well as identifying any risk for the project. Next up, decision gate approval. All projects or programs will have decision gates, where a go or no-go decision needs to be made and the sponsor needs to be involved in these at all times. The sponsor will also be responsible for any stakeholder arbitration. Sometimes stakeholders in a project will disagree about the outcomes they want and it's up to the sponsor to arbitrate between them to get the best results for involved. The sponsor will have been responsible for approving any changes that need to be made to the project or program scope or goals and help resolve any issues that it might run into. Last up, the sponsor needs to be able to complete a formal review of the benefits realized to prove the value of the project or program. And that's it for this video. Project, program, and portfolio sponsorship is an extremely important item for success. In this video, we've talked a little bit about what the role looks like and some of the key responsibilities of a sponsor.