Project Sponsors Are Absolutely Essential. Do they know what they are doing?
During our project management training - whether it is online, onsite, three days or three hours - we always discuss the critical role of the project sponsor. "Management Support" has been one of my Five Project Success Factors for over twenty years.
Yet the role itself is not consistent across organizations. Every person in a project management class will agree that a project manager needs an ally with more organizational authority, who is aligned with the team and accountable for their success. Yet half of survey respondents DO NOT report that their project sponsor is accountable for project success. In fact, over half said the sponsor was PAYING for the project.
If the Marketing VP is paying for an IT project, and is therefore considered the sponsor, who backs up the IT PM when the customer/sponsor has unrealistic expectations about cost and schedule?
Good project sponsors are absolutely essential. They should at least read a book - if not attend project management training - so they understand how they can support their project teams.