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Terms in this set (33)

Your project sponsor is the key link between the project management team and the organization's executive management. An effective sponsor
"owns" the project and has the ultimate responsibility for seeing that the intended benefits are realized to create the value forecast in the business
A good project sponsor will not interfere in the day-to-day running of the project -- that's the role of the project manager. But, the sponsor should
help the project manager facilitate the necessary organizational support needed to make strategic decisions and create a successful project.
With respect to the project, effective sponsors should:
• Create alignment. The sponsor helps keep the project aligned with business and cultural goals.
• Communicate on behalf of the project, particularly with other stakeholder groups in senior management. The sponsor also communicates his or
her personal commitment to the project's success on multiple occasions.
• Gain commitment. The sponsor is a key advocate for the project. He or she "walks the talk" and gains commitment from other key stakeholders.
• Arrange resources. The sponsor ensures the project's benefits are fully realized by arranging the resources necessary to initiate and sustain the
change within the organization.
• Facilitate problem solving. The sponsor ensures issues escalated from the project are solved effectively at the organizational level. This includes
decisions on changes, risks, conflicting objectives and any other issue that is outside of the project manager's designated authority.
• Support the project manager. The sponsor offers mentoring, coaching and leadership when dealing with business and operational matters.
• Build durability. The sponsor ensures that the project's outputs will be sustained by ensuring that people and processes are in place to maintain it
once the project completes its handover.
If you have a good sponsor, look after him or her. If your sponsor does not understand the role or is unwilling to fulfill the role, however, you need to
speak up. Carrying on without an effective sponsor raises the probability of project failure and you as the project manager will be held accountable
for that failing.
It's important to flag the lack of effective sponsorship as a key risk to the project. It may not make you popular, but you have an ethical
responsibility to clearly define risks that need management attention.
Ultimately the organization's executive management is responsible for training and appointing effective sponsors. If this has not happened, as
project managers, all we can do is help those sponsors who are willing to be helped and flag a risk or issue for those that are missing or unwilling
to support "their project."
They are organized, passionate and goal-oriented who understand what projects have in common, and their strategic role in
how organizations succeed, learn and change.
Project managers are change agents: they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense
of shared purpose within the project team. They enjoy the organized adrenaline of new challenges and the responsibility of
driving business results.
They work well under pressure and are comfortable with change and complexity in dynamic environments. They can shift
readily between the "big picture" and the small-but-crucial details, knowing when to concentrate on each.
Project managers cultivate the people skills needed to develop trust and communication among all of a project's
stakeholders: its sponsors, those who will make use of the project's results, those who command the resources needed, and
the project team members.
They have a broad and flexible toolkit of techniques, resolving complex, interdependent activities into tasks and sub-tasks
that are documented, monitored and controlled. They adapt their approach to the context and constraints of each project,
knowing that no "one size" can fit all the variety of projects. And they are always improving their own and their teams' skills
through lessons-learned reviews at project completion.
Project managers are found in every kind of organization -- as employees, managers, contractors and independent
consultants. With experience, they may become program managers (responsible for multiple related projects) or portfolio
managers (responsible for selection, prioritization and alignment of projects and programs with an organization's strategy).
And they are in increasing demand worldwide. For decades, as the pace of economic and technological change has
quickened, organizations have been directing more and more of their energy into projects rather than routine operations.
Today, senior executives and HR managers recognize project management as a strategic competence that is indispensable
to business success. They know that skilled and credentialed practitioners are among their most valuable resources.

Why Every Project Manager Should Know About Project Governance

When I first started out, I wasn't familiar with project governance structure. I wasn't alone, though.
Apparently in the world of governance, ignorance on the part of the project manager isn't surprising.
Project governance helps make sure that a project is executed according to the standards of the
organization performing the project. Governance keeps all project activities above board and ethical, and
also creates accountability.
A project governance structure will also help define a project reporting system. It outlines specific roles and
responsibilities for everyone involved in the project. Project managers can leverage a governance structure
in their projects to help with setting project priorities.
By understanding how governance fits into the larger organization, a project manager can choose which
objectives to pursue. Or, he or she can gain support to change objectives that don't align with the overall
organizational goal. By monitoring governance, the project manager helps ensure his or her project will stay
in tune with organizational expectations and remains a good investment as it continues in its lifecycle.
A project manager can also use the steering committees that are part of most governance structures to
resolve conflicts. Because steering committee members don't work on the project on a daily basis, the can
serve as fresh eyes to see what's causing the conflict and offer an outside voice of reason. They can also
offer solutions on how to resolve the conflict and adhere to the standards -- while still sticking to the overall
goals of the organization.