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Three types of project sponsors

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Tomasz Andreasik
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Joined: 6 Nov 2014
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3 types of sponsors

A person acting in the role of the sponsor may take different approaches to fulfilling his role and present different attitudes and behaviours. The table below will help you determine what type of sponsor you are and take appropriate steps "on the road to self-improvement".


project management processes

Types of sponsors




1. Defining the project

Does not read the project definition because that's a task of the project manager. Regards his involvement in defining the project as unnecessary.


Believes that the project manager should independently prepare the document and that, if he can think, he won't need help.

Provides key information about the project, such as the goal: relationship with the strategy, main deliverables. Doesn't read the remaining sections, focuses on how sections: objective, deliverable, intentions, estimations and risks were completed.

Dictates the definition of a project and, after its completed by the team, meticulously checks it. Independently verifies internal cohesion of the document. Independently analyses the plan of expenditures, depreciation; examines what flows will occur in subsequent years.

2. Constructing the schedule and budget

Checks whether the project manager attached a schedule. Checks the end date and checks, if it seems to be reasonable. Reacts, if the end date seems to be too distant - probably the manager added unnecessary buffers - and then orders the project to be accelerated by a month or two. Reduces budgets in a similar manner.

Approves the schedule at the milestone level. Checks the logical structure of the schedule and generally examines its cohesiveness. Answers questions about the date of completion of works and key constraints.

Wants to be informed about what the manager plans at every stage. Checks what was the basis for the estimates of the duration and labour intensity. Corrects the estimates. Makes adjustments to the project schedule and budget.

3. Managing the schedule andbudget

Is aware that managing the schedule and budget are the sole responsibility of the project manager. For this reason he does not review files with these documents when he receives them from the project manager - he knows it's just a formality.

Assigned a budget and scheduling reserve to the project manager, and therefore expects that he will no longer come to him with any small things. Wants to be informed only when the final deadline or budget is in danger.  Is also ready to support the project manager, if he asks for help.

Asks about deviations on all late tasks and expects an explanation. Discusses how better to organise work with the project manager and helps him with making changes to the schedule.  Assigns no budgetary reserves or very small ones- regardless of everything, the budget should be controlled by the sponsor!