The Project sponsors are the most senior executives who commission a project for the university. The sponsors have both the responsibility and authority to provide funding for the project.
Project sponsors' responsibilities include the following items:
Ensure support by key executive stakeholders
Approve the scope of the project
Appoint the project owners
Make adequate resources available
Serve as a communication channel
Approve the end result
Selection Criteria: The project sponsor must have both responsibility and authority to acquire funds and approve all phases of the project.
Funding: Acquiring funds can mean funding the project from an existing budget, working the project into a future budget cycle, or taking out an internal loan to be repaid with anticipated savings. It can mean asking senior management for funds or persuading peers to contribute. In any case, the executive sponsor is the project's banker, putting together a financial deal. Funding for the project must be settled as soon as possible. In the best scenario, the entire project is contingently funded at the first PMAP phase gate. Funds are set aside to finish the project, but release of the funds is contingent on project approval, which is granted phase by phase. At a minimum, funding for each next phase is confirmed before proceeding to that phase.
No Courtesy Sponsors: Resist the temptation to appoint courtesy sponsors in an attempt to build support for a project. A large unwieldy group of sponsors who lack authority to fund and approve the project invites wheel spinning and delay. There are alternate mechanisms to keep people informed and to obtain their support; for example, courtesy calls, status reports, periodic for your information (FYI) presentations or mailings, or invitations to attend selected meetings can all be included in the project's communications plan.
Communications: While the project manager has an obligation to keep the project's owners and sponsors informed, the project's sponsors and owners have an obligation to make it easy to be kept informed. Establish mechanisms that work for the individual project, such as status meetings, status reports, and more informal vehicles. Phase Gate Reviews are too infrequent to serve as the only formal communications between the project sponsors and the team