A project sponsor is the heart of any organizational change. Sponsors are critical – they clear the way and provide the fuel to keep everyone on course.
Sponsors are well-respected, credible senior leaders (executive or management team) who have overall accountability for the project. They ensure the project is aligned to the company’s strategy and goals. A project sponsor is personally vested in the success of the project and is active and visible throughout the life of the project
Here are a few tips for Effective Sponsorship on any project:
- Own the Mission – Inspire the team toward a compelling vision. Make the project personal to focus the team’s attention on project goals.
- Set the Direction and Course – Establish clear roles and responsibilities, expectations and timelines for your team. Make yourself available and be actively involved in key decisions.
- Clear Obstacles – Make the project a priority. Eliminate other activities that might distract team members or divert energy and attention from the project. Have clear escalation paths for issue resolution and to manage risks impacting the project success.
- Secure Resources – Commit the resources with the right skills and ensure funding is in place to support the project.
- Lead the Team Toward its Highest Objective – Model the new desired behaviors. Respect and trust in the expertise of your team.
We have all been a part of projects that feel the lack of sponsorship. Being a project sponsor is not a one-time event. It requires sustained involvement throughout the project’s lifecycle.
Keep these simple actions in place and become the example for your company and team! It’s critically important to your organization’s success.