Getting the Sponsor You Need
If there is one common theme shared by virtually all of the 17,000 people who have participated in our Project Management workshops, it is their relationship, or lack of, with their project sponsor[i].
The role of the project sponsor is critical in ensuring the success of both IT and business projects. Our research[ii] and experience has shown that the effectiveness of the project sponsor role is the single best predictor of project success or failure.
Simply, a project without the appropriate degree of executive sponsorship will fail.
As a result, for you - a project manager - the relationship that you build with your sponsor is the most critical relationship in your project.
Over the past 25 years of project management consulting and education, we have discovered a series of patterns and rules for developing and managing your relationship with the person undertaking the project sponsor role. We have confirmed the validity of these rules with many executives who have undertaken project sponsor roles. They work!
[i] While this paper concentrates on the sponsor role, all the rules and situations covered apply equally to project Steering Committees.
[ii] Our research is supported by research by groups such as the Standish Group who, in a major study of project failure, identified the awareness and support of executives as a major factor in project success or failure ( Application Development Trends, January, 1995, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 41 - 47).
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