Are you undertaking the role of a project or programme sponsor, project executive, senior responsible officer or similar? Are you keen to understand current best practice and what would be expected of you? Do you need to empower others, be credible in the role and be seen to govern successful projects?

Many programmes and projects fail, in part, due to a lack of appropriate buy-in or direction from senior management. This briefing will confirm why the sponsor’s role is important, explain current best practice and provide you with a concise handbook for future reference – including a ‘Health Check’ assessment for ongoing use. Questions and queries will be answered throughout the briefing.

Additionally there will be a networking opportunity included as part of a working lunch. This latter hour (12.30 - 1.30pm) is optional for each delegate attending, meaning individuals can depart from 12.30pm if they wish.

This workshop has been developed for middle and senior managers who need to sponsor projects and/or programmes and have either little practical experience of managing a project, or had no form of guidance to clarify what the sponsor role involves.

Busy senior managers can gain a practical appreciation of the sponsor’s role within a couple of hours by attending this focused briefing. No formal programme or project qualifications are required, although it is assumed that delegates will have some familiarity with a programme or project management environment.

By the end of the briefing, delegates will:

  • Understand the accountabilities of a project sponsor
  • Understand what senior leadership of a project/programme looks like
  • Recognise the most common risks to project success and their role in reducing them
  • Recognise why sponsors and project sponsorship is too often subject to criticism
  • Know how and when a project should be launched
  • Recognise their involvement in dealing with the most common challenges a project will face
  • Appreciate the most effective ways of ensuring full benefits realisation over time

The Most Common Reasons for Project Failure

  • What goes wrong most frequently?
  • Sponsor’s criticisms of others
  • Common criticisms of sponsors
  • How can sponsors steer projects to success

The Sponsor’s Role

  • What exactly is good governance?
  • Accountability for the project/programme?
  • Steering the creation of the business case
  • Communicating the vision and the strategy to achieve it
  • Structuring a project board/steering group and supporting hierarchy
  • Establishing a positive environment
  • Dealing with the politics / stakeholder engagement
  • Your involvement in project kick-off meetings
  • Verification and viability – both at the start and during the project
  • Controlling resources and their release to the project
  • Effective monitoring, controlling and intervention on the project
  • Project closure – the sponsors involvement
  • Benefits realisation – how and by whom?

Accommodating Flat Management Structures

  • What to do if you have too few sponsors and too many projects

Common Traps and How to Avoid Them

  • How much planning time for project managers?
  • The need for discipline, definition and clarity
  • Why is communication always an issue?
  • Your role in avoiding scope creep

The Key Challenges During the Project

  • Corporate vs project hierarchy
  • ‘Need to know’ vs ‘nice to know’ reporting
  • How to maintain control without being controlling
  • The need for project and quality assurance