I have talked often about the importance of good sponsorship for a project and project manager; I have even started ‘The Campaign for Real Project Sponsors’. Is it perhaps possible, in an organization that has weak or limited project sponsor capability, that the PMO could act as the supporter of sponsors on one hand and on the other perhaps the actual sponsor for the smaller project? It is surely better to have this rather than act with no sponsor representation at all. If the project is in direct support of the organization’s project practices (e.g., implementing a project management information system) then this will be definitely be a good match and if not then still a good PMO could offer a degree of objectivity and guidance. The PMO might be a politically acceptable body to provide discrete support for project sponsors should this be required, that is if the PMO is well respected and acknowledged by the project sponsors themselves, as well as the business in general. As the governance for the project methodology and standards it is natural that this would incorporate sponsorship tasks and deliverables and as such coaching and advice could be easily and sensitively provided upon request. It would also be the PMOs role to garner and disseminate lessons learned to the project community and, if issues with previous sponsorship capability are raised then this brings the subject under the wing of the PMO anyway. I am not arguing here that PMO is the answer to a void in project sponsorship inside an organisation, certainly not. And I fully recognize that any role a PMO does play in this area should only be an interim solution whilst a proper and mature sponsorship practice is developed. Indeed not even the best willed PMO can offer everything that a sponsor should provide but that said there would be a very strong argument that, in the absence of a ‘good’ project sponsor, the PMO can fill a void. Something is definitely better than nothing in this case. [ribbon-light]Author Bio:[/ribbon-light]SPEAKER: AUTHOR: TRAINER: COACH: CONSULTANT. Peter is a dynamic and commercially astute professional who has achieved notable success in business. His background is in project management and marketing across three major business areas over the last 28 years and with the last 8 years building and leading PMOs. He is an accomplished communicator, a professional speaker, workshop trainer and PM/PMO consultant. Peter is the author of ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager and the Project from Hell’ (Infinite Ideas), as well as ‘Leading Successful PMOs’ (Gower).
The PMO as Sponsor
March 19, 2013