PMI defines a Project Sponsor as an individual (often a manager or executive) with overall accountability for the project. He or she is primarily concerned with ensuring that the project delivers the agreed upon business benefits and acts as the representative of the organization, playing a vital leadership role.
The project organization structure would look like the following, as defined by HierarchyStructure
Roles & Responsibilities
The primary responsibilities of the Project Sponsor includes:
- Communication: Represent the project at the Executive level. The sponsor plays a critical role in gaining acceptance for the project and managing any resistance to change. The sponsor will negotiate with stakeholders to gain consensus when a difference of opinion arises. The Sponsor also acts as an additional line of communication and observation with team members, customers, and other stakeholders
- Funding: Champions the project by negotiating funding and priority for the project. Identify and qualify project benefits and manage project benefits realization
- Project Governance: Provides business context, expertise, and guidance to the project manager and the team; Act as an escalation point and help to resolve issues beyond the project manager.
- Guidance: Provide direction and guidance for project empowerment, key business strategies and project initiatives. Identify project critical success factors and approve deliverables
- Keeping to Schedules: Review changes to the project environment, including schedules, priorities, tasks, etc. Participate in initial project planning, including developing the project chart and the project scope
- Success: Evaluate the project’s success on completion
From a Stakeholder Analysis perspective, a Project Sponsor would be an important stakeholder.
PMI and PRINCE2 are useful resources which you can refer to for this topic.
An introduction to the roles and responsibilities of a Project Sponsor is captured in the following video.