Obtaining Sponsors Formal Approval

By this time you 've come a long way down the road. The customer has approached you with a project request. You have done due diligence to the project request by performing good business analysis on it and have now formulated a project concept document that outlines the nature of the work to be done. You' ve approached the project sponsors with the concept document and given a presentation that knocked their socks off. The business case has been made, and sponsors agree that this project should go forward.

Note Sometimes the project sponsor is a group of people called a

"project steering committee." It' s always better if the project is sponsored by a single, executive sponsor. Committees can get bogged down in disagreements, resulting in lack of decision-making ability, inactivity on the project, and sometimes sabotage of the project by one unhappy committee member. If at all possible, push for a single executive leader when formulating a project.

It is at this point that you obtain formal approval by the project sponsor to go forward. You formulate a document that ' s similar to the project concept document, but which much more specifically delineates the steps that are to be taken toward accomplishing the project ' s objectives. At this juncture, you have not yet written the project plan, but this document denotes the overall scope of the project and the resources required to finish it. This document is called a project charter. We' l l talk more about the project charter in the next section of this chapter.

On all projects, it' s a good idea to have an explicit sign-off area on the project charter for the sponsor' s signature to formally launch the project.

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