Executive sponsor

Executive Sponsor

Executive sponsor

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The role of Executive sponsor (sometimes called Project sponsor) is a role in project management, usually the senior member of the project board and often the chair. In smaller organisations (or small projects within larger organisations) the executive sponsor may also be the project manager but typically (especially where a methodology such as PRINCE2 is used) the project sponsor will be a senior executive in a corporation (often at or just below board level) who is responsible to the business for the success of the project.

Where the role of executive sponsor exists as a separate role the person in that role rarely becomes involved in the running of the project. Their role centers around:

  • Advocating the project both internally and externally
  • Championing the project
  • Obtaining budgets for the project
  • Accepting responsibility for problems escalated from the project manager.
  • Signing off documents such as the business case and project initiation document
  • Supporting the project manager in managing the project

Due to the problem solving needs of the role the executive sponsor often needs to be able to exert pressure within the organisation to overcome resistance to the project. For this reason the executive sponsor will ideally be a person with great executive/political authority and natural authority.

A few research studies have been published that not only detail the role of this...
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