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The 4 As of a Great Project Sponsor

When a project has the right people backing it, magical things can happen. A great project sponsor can often be the difference between success and failure. So what is it that differentiates the best? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin elaborates on what makes a great project sponsor. There are four attributes that the best always have:

  1. Authorized
  2. Available
  3. Attached
  4. Accomplished

The A+ Experience

The project sponsor most importantly needs to be authorized to get the work they need done accomplished. They should have some sort of power or sway in the organization. Hopefully, this is the easiest of the four because it should be something already in place.

Being available is direly important for the role of the project sponsor. They should have the time to come to meetings and be able to deal with risks that fall out of the realm of a project manager. If the project sponsor is a senior-level manager who is too busy to be readily available, have someone who can act as an interim sponsor and make the pertinent decisions quickly. Talk with the sponsor and be honest about the time they may need to devote to this project.

When it comes to being “attached,” what really needs to happen is commitment. It is not uncommon for projects to fail because after the initial excitement, the sponsor loses interest. The best project sponsors will commit from day one and stay involved and invested until the project’s end.

Having project sponsors who are themselves accomplished in project management can really help with current project success. Those who are knowledgeable and have the skills and experience to get things done make the execution of projects so much easier. This, however, is seldom the case. Finding a baseline with the project sponsor is probably the best thing, because it will become evident what they need a little refresher lesson in.

You can read the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/the-4-as-of-a-great-project-sponsor/

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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