The Art of Project Sponsorship

The Art of Project Sponsorship
The Art of Project Sponsorship is my upcoming book project. It will be available December this year.

For the last decade I have dedicated myself to helping C-level executives recovering troubled projects. If there's one thing I've learned in the process, it's that executive project support is priceless. Engaged executive sponsors help organizations to bridge the communication gap between influencers and implementers, thereby increasing collaboration and support, boosting project success rates, and reducing collective risk.

Specifically, effective project sponsors use their influence within an organization to overcome challenges by helping align the project to the organization’s strategic vision and plan, removing roadblocks, and driving organizational change. This consistent engagement and support helps projects stay on track. So much so, in fact, that current data from the Project Management Institute (PMI) demonstrates that actively engaged sponsors are the dominant driver that enables projects to meet their original goals.

According to the PMI 2018 Pulse of the Profession in-depth report, one in four organizations—26 percent—report that the primary cause of failed projects is inadequate sponsor support. In contrast, organizations with a higher percentage of projects that include actively engaged executive sponsors report 40 percent more successful projects than those with a lower percentage of projects with actively engaged sponsors (PMI, 2018).

Project sponsors are expected to have a keen knowledge of the organization's business, corporate strategy, and working relationships with other members of senior management, associated boards, other departments, and external stakeholders. In addition, they are expected to have sound knowledge of the business case and an understanding of essential project management practices.

Unfortunately, most sponsors are unaware of these tacit expectations and are often uninformed about the aspects of project management that are relevant to them. The better the role of the project sponsor is understood, the more the entire organization, the project team, and the project itself will benefit.

The goal of this book is to facilitate this understanding. It is written for executives in the role of project sponsor for an important project. Whether it's your first project in this role, or your fiftieth, it doesn’t matter. No matter where you are in your project sponsorship journey I am sure you will find value in this book.

The Art of Project Sponsorship is divided into three parts.

Part I: The Essentials will give you a quick overview of all you need to do, ask, and watch for, as a project sponsor.

Part II: Deep Dives will explore important topics more in depth.

Part III: Peer Interviews contains interviews with experienced executive project sponsors.

You will get the most value out of this book by comparing the things written with the experiences you already made with projects. No matter what role you had in them.

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