How to Manage a Project



These are a set of questions that people have asked, mainly about applying the project management approach to their normal work situation. We have tried to give what we feel are "best practice" answers but cannot pretend that the answers are definitive.

What is a Project Sponsor?

The Project Sponsor looks after the project on behalf of the organisation. In that sense is responsible for ensuring that the project achieves the expected outcomes and benefits, and that it is completed within the terms of reference.

For some projects this may require a very active role, for others it may focus on being available to support and help the Project Manager when required. For some projects the sponsor can be a single individual, for some it is the line manager of the Project Manager, for others it may be a group - a project board.

Key tasks may include:
  • Sets the boundaries of the project and agrees terms of reference and project plan.
  • Accepts management responsibility for the Project Manager, providing backing and support when needed.
  • Gives support in securing resources, financial and people, and cooperation.
  • Updates the focus of the project when needed - in terms of changed circumstances and requirements.
  • Helps to manage the interrelationship with other projects and programmes. Monitors other organisational changes and developments to assess the impact of them on the project, and vice-versa. Informing Project Manager and others of implications.
  • Champions the project in the organisational arena.
  • Is interested and committed to the project and available when required.