What is a Project Sponsor? A Clear Definition

Adriana Girdler

Not exactly sure what people mean by “project sponsor”? Here’s the answer! Without a project sponsor, the project would not exist. But who is the …

Not exactly sure what people mean by “project sponsor”? Here’s the answer!

Without a project sponsor, the project would not exist. But who is the project sponsor, exactly? And what do they do?

Your project sponsor is key in the life cycle and success of your project. So, it’s important to understand exactly what they do and why they are there, no matter what kind or size of project you’re running.

Project Sponsor Role: What is it?

Think of a project sponsor as someone who is a key supporter of your project from a senior executive perspective.

Sponsors tend to come from the leadership team, and they all have strategies they need to execute. Each executive team member has things that have to come to fruition to make sure that strategy for the organization can be delivered on.

They are the owner of ensuring that a particular strategy comes to life by picking a project. So, they are the sponsor of that project.

What do they do on projects?

They essentially act as cheerleaders. They’re there to support the project, even though they’re not on the project team.

Responsibilities of a Project Sponsor

The next question is: What does it look like for a project sponsor to support a project? How does their role actually play out?

There are certain responsibilities and goals that are relevant to every project sponsor, no matter the project.

I want to break that all down for you, so join me over on YouTube so that we can keep talking through this topic. See you there!

On top of that, in my course SLAY Project Management I go through every project management technique you’ll need for a successful career, including how to use them in both project and non-project settings. Make sure you check it out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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