Feedback Please – Project Sponsor Activities

Paul Naybour

Hi Paul,

Can I please have some feedback on the following question?

Many thanks for your help.

List and describe five activities which the project sponsor performs during the project life cycle.

1.Oversees construction of the business case
2.Helps project manager manage key stakeholders
3.Resolve issues that the project manager can’t deal with
4.Approve changes to the scope
5.Approves the project management plan

1. Oversees construction of the business case.
During the concept phase of the project life cycle the project sponsor will oversee the construction of the business case, along with the steering group. This will involve “optioneering” until one optimal solution remains, and will cover the benefits, costs and risks of the chosen solution. Although the project manager may be appointed to write the business case, the project sponsor will be the owner once it has been approved by the steering group. The business case will then be used as a reference point throughout the life cycle of the project to ensure the project is on track and the benefits will be realised.

2. Helps project manager manage key stakeholders.
Throughout the project life cycle the project sponsor will help the project manager manage key stakeholders. As a project sponsor is usually a more senior member of the organisation this can help them when it comes to managing key stakeholders. The sponsor may already have a good relationship with the major stakeholders so may be able to get them on board with the project. An example might be if the key stakeholders of the project are another department within the company where the project is to introduce a new IT system – the sponsor’s influence in the organisation may be able to help establish the department’s initial “buy-in” into the project.

3. Resolve issues that the project manager can’t deal with.
Throughout the development of the project there are bound to be issues arise that the project manager will need ti escalate. The sponsor of the project would usually be the person that such issues are escalated to. Issues then need to be dealt with promptly to avoid letting them cause the project to fail. For example, if contingency funds need to be used it would be the sponsor who would approve this.

4. Approve changes to the scope.
During the development stage the scope of the project will be further redefined, through requirements capture and analysis. Sometimes this can result in a change to the scope that was first identified in the project management plan (PMP). If this happens then the sponsor would need to approve the changes, as they approved the PMP.

5. Approves the PMP
The main output of the definition stage is the project management plan, which is produced mainly by the project manager. It is the project sponsor’s responsibility to approve this. The PMP defines the delivery strategy for the project and is a key document that is used throughout the project life cycle. It golds the policies, schedules and plans of the project, and forms a “contract” between the project manager and the project sponsor.

1 thought on “Feedback Please – Project Sponsor Activities”

  1. An excellent answer I would give this a very high mark (48/50), but I may be being more generous than a real marker. However I am confident and answer like this would pass, it has the necessary detail to demonstrate a good understanding of the topic. Please feel free to post more answer as you progress through the course.

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