Project Sponsor Role and Responsibilities

The project sponsor is that person or group who owns the project. Every project has one. While they don’t manage the day-to-day operations of a project, they are above the project manager in terms of the project hierarchy. Most likely, the project sponsor has been involved with the project from the very beginning. They were the ones who helped conceive it and advocated for it. In this article, we shall discuss the Project Sponsor role and responsibilities in detail.

According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the project sponsor is “a person or group who provides resources and support for the project, program or portfolio for enabling success.”

Project Sponsor Role 

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the project sponsor role can be broken into three parts: vision, governance, and value or benefits realization. They break those down in the following way:

Vision

  • Makes sure the business case is valid and in step with the business proposition
  • Aligns project with business strategy, goals, and objectives
  • Stays informed of project events to keep project viable
  • Defines the criteria for project success and how it fits with the overall business

Governance

  • Ensures project is properly launched and initiated
  • Maintains organizational priorities throughout the project
  • Offers support for project organization
  • Defines project roles and reporting structure
  • Acts as an escalation point for issues when something is beyond the project manager’s control
  • Gets financial resources
  • Decision-maker for progress and phases of the project

Values & Benefits

  • Makes sure that risks and changes are managed
  • Helps to ensure control and review processes
  • Oversees the delivery of project value
  • Evaluates status and progress
  • Approves deliverables
  • Helps with decision-making
  • Responsible for project quality throughout project phases

The project Sponsor is one of the most important Project stakeholders. Below are some of the important characteristics of a Project Sponsor.

Project Sponsor Responsibilities

  • A project Sponsor is someone who provides resources and support for the project and is accountable for the project’s success.
  • Project Sponsor can be a person or a group.
  • When a project is first conceived, Sponsor is the one who champions the project, he promotes the project to the higher management by highlighting the benefits the project will bring.
  • leads the project during selection process until it is formally authorized.
  • Plays a significant role in preparing the Project Charter.
  • Can approve the Project Charter, thus formally initiating the project.
  • The first point of escalation to the Project Manager on the issues that are beyond his control.
  • Promotes the project from its inception through closure, and serves as the spokesperson of the project to higher management.

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