As stated in Chapter 1, it is best if the sponsor is one person rather than a team. This person should preferably be a member of the executive management team—one who has the muscle to enforce decisions and gain everyone' s cooperation. The reason it' s valuable to stay away from multiple project sponsors is due to the complexity that adds to the decision- making process. Like it or not, all people come to the table with a given agenda, usually slanted toward their area of business.
If you' re working on a project in which IT is a new concept, it may be beneficial for a strong IT presence to be available during all project initiatives. So you might think, for example, it' s a good idea to invite the deputy CIO to help sponsor the project. This person comes to the table with CIO- ish agendas, despite their desire to help the customer. If you have a sponsor who ' s in the business—somebody who came up in manufacturing, or sales, or whatever—and a second sponsor with an IT perspective, there may be some foot-dragging, in-fighting, or other communication stalling that goes and delays the project. A single executive sponsor, who can keep their mind on the deliverables the project is going to realize, will grease the project' s sled runners and get it accomplished much faster.
It' s not always possible to have a single project sponsor. In the earlier sidebar about the T-REX highway-widening project, there are several project sponsors. One sponsor might have an interest in the laying of the asphalt, while another might be completely interested in the substructure (the sewer, fiber-optic cables, etc.) of the road ' s surface. The size of the project will dictate the need for multiple sponsors. I would speculate that in most IT projects, a single sponsor is more than adequate and removes some of the propensity for arguments that you might encounter with multiple sponsors.
The scope document reiterates who the project sponsor is. It should be evident to all interested parties reading the document why the project sponsor is the one listed. If there' s a question mark about the project sponsorship, that' s a red flag for you to investigate the political or monetary underpinnings associated with the designated sponsor. We' re striving for a project untainted by the ambitions, moneybags, or idealism (or lack thereof) of the project sponsor. We want a project sponsor who has the goodness of the project at heart.
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