The group was sipping coffee and chatting until I interrupted them.
Please, I asked, take a look at the question posed and do put some thoughts onto post it notes. The question:
So what is project sponsorship like in your organisation?
Slowly, they started to write. I called a halt just before I started speaking (this was an event hosted by the British Computer Society in Central London.)
The results: shocking.
Every picture tells a story and the one below is no different. There is only one positive comment with too many negative ones. The full list of comments can be seen here
To clarify; the column on the left are positive comments about project sponsorship and the ones on the right are negative ones.
As one person comments afterwards; “if this was a performance management review, there would be some harsh words said to sponsors – they must do better”.
I smiled and agreed.
The demand for project managers is increasing and the demand for project management training is increasing. The latest edition of Project, the magazine from APM quoted the PMI figures that between 2010 and 2020 the number of new project management roles estimated to be created globally will be 15.7 million with 61% of organisations offering project management training for their staff. However, how many offer project sponsorship training? Very few, according to my research.
How can we expect project managers to deliver effectively if project sponsors do not engage and play their part?
I started to think about performance management for project sponsors. How is this key group assessed?
I of course am making an assumption there is some form of assessment of their skills. However, I have yet to come across the company that builds performance review and project sponsorship together. If your company does have this please get in touch and tell me how effective it is.
To have a performance review you need a clear role for the project sponsor and many companies do not have this. Simply go here and download the free checklist (underneath the order now button) which should help.
Performance management reviews for project sponsors (as opposed to say their Director or senior management role) seems a long way off. But we can start the process by having the sponsorship role made clearer then maybe, just maybe, we will be able to introduce performance management for sponsors!