The Project Sponsor

26 Jun

A project sponsor plays an important role in all projects, as without them, the project would not have been proposed.  Below I have outlined the roles of the sponsor and what roles the project manager has in regards to the sponsor(s).   

Roles of the Project Sponsor:

  • Individuals that recognize the strong business need for the project
  • Have an interest in seeing the project succeed and supports the project manager and project team
  • Person or group that provides the financial resources for the project
  • The project sponsor should have an idea of the business value that is gained from the project, both in tangible (Ex. 2% reduction in operating costs) and intangible ways (Ex. improved customer service, competitive position)
  • Acts as an advisor/mentor to the project manager
  • Removes obstacles
  • Writes the Project Charter
  • Helps to define the project team roles and responsibilities
  • Reviews and approves statements of work/contracts and planning documents
  • Ultimately is accountable for the success of the project
  • Becomes the focal point for issues management and decision-making whenever the project manager’s scope of authority is exceeded

Roles of the Project Manager:

  • Make sure you understand who the project sponsors are
  • You need to ensure that the project sponsors has enough authority and influence to undertake the work and bring about the proposed change in affected parts of the organization
  • The project manager will need to guide the sponsors throughout the project and keep them apprised of the project’s status


  • Significant projects will normally require sponsorship from the organization’s executive level
  • The project size or scope determined what kind of sponsor is needed
  • Great sponsors and project managers clearly articulate the root cause of the problem that is to be solved
  • The sponsor and project manager should verify the solution resolves the root cause of the problem
  • The best sponsors are from the business; leaders who want to change the way the business operates
  • Sponsors may have already constructed a good definition of the project and have a clear view of what is required
  • The project sponsor and project manager should make time to meet and discuss the project status
Please comment below with any tips/advice that you have in regards to project sponsors?

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