Archive for the ‘Sponsor’ Category

Integrating the change program with the parent organization (Lehtonen & Martinsuo, 2009)

Dienstag, April 28th, 2009


Lehtonen, Päivi; Martinsuo, Miia: Integrating the change program with the parent organization; in: International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 27 (2009), No. 2, pp. 154-165.


Lehtonen & Martinsuo analyse the boundary spanning activities of change programmes.  They find five different types of organisational integration – internal integration 1a) in the programme, 1b) in the organisation; external integration 2a) in the organisation, 2b) in the programme, and 3) between programme and parent organisation.

Furthermore they identify mechanisms of integration on these various levels.  These mechanisms are

  Mechanism of integration
Structure & Control Steering groups, responsibility of line managers
Goal & content link Programme is part of larger strategic change initiative
People links Cross-functional core team, part-time team members who stay in local departments
Scheduling & Planning links Planning, project management, budgeting, reporting
Isolation Abandon standard corporate steering group, split between HQ and branch roll-out


Among most common are four types of boundary spanning activities – (1) Information Scout, (2) Ambassador, (3) Boundary Shaping, and (4) Isolation.  Firstly, information scouting is done via workshops, interviews, questionnaire, data requests &c.  Secondly, the project ambassador presents the programme in internal forums, focuses on quick wins and show cases them, publishes about the project in HR magazines &c.  Thirdly, the boundary shaping is done by negotiations of scope and resources, and by defining responsibilities.  Fourthly, isolation typically takes place through withholding information, establishing a separate work/team/programme culture, planning inside; basically by gate keeping and blocking.   

Governance and support in the sponsoring of projects and programs (Crawford et al., 2008)

Montag, November 3rd, 2008

 Governance and support in the sponsoring of projects and programs (Crawford et al., 2008)

Crawford, Lynn; Cooke-Davies, Terry; Hobbs, Brian; Labuschagne, Les; Remington, Kaye, Chen, Ping: Governance and support in the sponsoring of projects and programs; in: Project Management Journal, Vol. 39 (2008), No. S1, p. S43-S55.

Sponsoring of projects and programs is increasingly getting attention in project management research. The authors argue that this is due to two factors – (1) recognition of contextual critical success factors and (2) push for corporate governance.
[I personally think that riding that dead horse Sarbox is questionable to say the least and I can think of so many reasons why corporations want some of their projects controlled thightly.]

This article presents findings from a qualitative survey, in which 108 interviews from 36 projects in 9 organisations were collected. Crawford et al. propose a general model of project sponsorship – as they put it: „The conceptual model has significant potential to provide organizations and sponsors with guidance in understanding and defining the effective contextual conduct of the sponsorship role.“

Their general model consists of two dimensions – Need for Governance and Need for Support. In this model each sponsor can find his/her spot in the matrix by assessing what his/her focus of representation is. Sponsors either represent the need of the permanent organisation (need for governance) or they represent the need of the temporary organisation (need for support). In the interviews conducted, they identified typical situations which require a shift in emphasising one or the other dimension.

When to emphasise governance?
Among the resons and examples given during the interviews were: the project is high risk for the parent organisation, project performs poorly, markets are changing rapidly, governance or regulation call for increased oversight, project team behaved illegaly or non-compliant, the project is mission-critical, or the project’s objective is to re-align the company to a new strategy.

When to emphasise support?
Typical situations given were: parent organisation fails to provide resources, project faces resistance in the organisation, different stakeholders impose conflicting objecitve on the project, lack of decision-making by the parent organisation, project team is weak or inexperienced, or the project shows early signs of difficulities.

Among the many open research questions not yet addressed are –
What are the essential attributes to effective sponsoring?
Which influence does one or the other strategie has on project success?
Which competencies are required in a sponsor?
What are the factors contributing to effective sponsorship performance?
What does the role of the sponsor in different contexts of programmes/projects/organisations look like?

Effective Project Sponsorship – An Evaluation of the Role of the Executive Sponsor in Complex Infrastructure Projects by Senior Managers (Helm & Remington, 2005)

Montag, August 11th, 2008

Success Factors for Project Sponsors

Helm, Jane; Remingtone, Kayne: Effective Project Sponsorship – An Evaluation of the Role of the Executive Sponsor in Complex Infrastructure Projects by Senior Managers; in: Journal of Project Management, Vol. 36 (2005), No. 3, pp. 51-61.

Helm & Remington used a Grounded Theory approach to explore the role of Project Sponsors in semi-structured in-depth interviews. They identified 9 success factors:

  1. Seniority
  2. Political knowledge & savvy
  3. Connect project and organisation
  4. Battle for the project
  5. Motivate team
  6. Partner with project team
  7. Communication skills
  8. Compatibility with project team
  9. Provide objectivity and challenge project