Have you ever attended a conference or event that was put on by a sponsor? In the information technology field, software development companies often sponsor conferences and seminars. The sponsor pays for the event, the facilities, and the goodies and provides an opportunity for vendors to display their wares. In return, the sponsor comes out looking like a winner. Because it is footing the bill for all this fun, the sponsor gets to call the shots on conference content, and it gets the prime spots for discussing its particular solutions. And last but not least, it usually provides the keynote speaker and gets to present its information to a captive audience.
Project sponsors are similar to this in that they rally support from stakeholders and the executive management team for the project. The project sponsor is usually an executive in the organization who has the power and authority to make decisions and settle disputes or conflicts regarding the project. The sponsor takes the project into the limelight, so to speak, and gets to call the shots regarding project outcomes. The project sponsor is also the one with the big bucks who provides funds for your project. The project sponsor should be named in the project charter and identified as the final authority and decision maker for project issues.
Sponsors are actively involved in the Initiating and Planning phases of the project and tend to have less involvement during the Execution and Monitoring and Controlling phases. It's up to the project manager to keep the project sponsor informed of all project activities, project progress, and any conflicts or issues that arise. The sponsor is the one with the authority to resolve conflicts and set priorities when these things can't be dealt with any other way.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.