18 July 2008

Project Sponsor: job description

The Sponsor of a project is (usually) your primary client.  But they are also a team member.

Around here we like to think of project professionals as a service industry people – you’ve been hired to provide your professional services to delivery a high quality project.

The sponsor was hired to do a job also – and they have a service obligation to you.  Well, they probably weren't hired to specifically be a project sposnor, but they were hired to solve business problems and one of the tools they have picked is your project.

You already know some of the sponsor's role by rote; they provide strategic goals & measures of success, and the clear obstacles & provide an escalation point within the organisation

But a default job description always needs customising.

If you were writing a job description for your sponsor, what would it say? And how would you measure their performance? And how is your existing sponsor going?

Do they need a hand?

Photo by Melbourne Puppetry 

care of CC and Flickr


  1. In my opinion by far the most important aspect of a sponsor is that they are commited to actually using (and encouraging others to use) the product or service you are implementing. You need not only executive spnsorship but executive adoption to be truly successful.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more. The sponsor of your project is your primary and most important client. Looking at the different types of sponsors and knowing what type of a sponsor you have is critical to being successful.

    Interestingly, I wrote a blog entry yesterday about the types of sponsors I've come across. It seems we're thinking along the same lines.


  3. In my limited experience with projects so far, the project sponsors I've worked with have provided an immense amount of useful, high-level information.

    Project sponsors usually contribute from the Enterprise Analysis perspective, sharing their vision for the project as well as providing industry insight.

  4. Thanks all for the feedback.

    Adrew - read your list.

    Anyone have views on what to do when you have two sponsors with different views on the how and what of your projcts?

  5. Hi Craig,

    in the last project I was under, the 2 project sponsors were willing to meet up and keep in constant communication to ensure that that everyone was on the same page.

    I believe that provided much of the ease in which we were able to identify requirements and proceed without much ambiguity.

  6. This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.

    Marion Barrett
    Job Description

  7. @Chris

    Twosponsors can work, but it means extra work for everyone.

    And what happens if they can't agree on some point?

    One is leaner and meaner.