Project Agency's survey shows sponsors failing
Project management training and development specialist, Project Agency, has revealed that, in a survey of over 1,300 people who have attended its project management events, over 52 per cent believe that the roles, responsibilities and levels of authority relating to their projects are unclear. Only five per cent of those polled disagree.
- (1888PressRelease) June 18, 2011 - Ron Rosenhead, chief executive at Project Agency, commented: "Running training events is often a dumping ground for people's frustrations - but many of those frustrations have a basis in fact. Such a strong response to our survey suggests that the issue of ineffective or even absent project sponsors is widespread and is having serious consequences for UK plc.
"All projects need a sponsor - someone who gives senior executive support to the project manager and project," he explained. "This person commissions others to undertake the project; briefs the project manager about the project, its history and any 'political issues' surrounding it; agrees the level of accountability and responsibility the project manager will have; signs off the business case and other project management documents, and actively reviews the project with the project manager at agreed dates ensuring it's 'on track'.
"Those who come on our project management courses - including over 14,000 people who've attended our 'Perfect Project' course - tell us repeatedly that the vital role of the sponsor is often missing."
Rosenhead, who has amassed many years of experience as a project manager, trainer and commentator on all aspects of project management, believes that sponsorship is an active process and one of the keys to project success.
"Without active participation by senior managers, projects can be given an impossible delivery date and project managers don't receive the authority they need to ensure the project succeeds," he said.
"Sponsors need to be trained and developed to ensure that the sponsor role is carried out effectively," he continued. "This is not so much a criticism of the UK's senior managers but, rather, a plea for them to take their sponsorship role seriously, including attending formal training events.
"If you're senior manager, you should know what your role entails, as well as the decisions you and the project manager should be making. You should be agreeing the level of control that's appropriate for each project and ensuring there's a system for managing project changes, capturing project risks and identifying and managing stakeholders.
"The key message is that senior managers must realise that, if a project is to be delivered, they need to be more involved," Rosenhead said. "Of course, we're happy to help both project managers and sponsors to ensure that their projects proceed smoothly - and successfully."
About Project Agency
Helping organisations deliver projects on time and to budget, Project Agency delivers a wide variety of training and development events in-house for clients' staff, as well as e-learning materials. Principally concerned with project management, the events cover issues including:
• Project management skills training
• Project management strategy and planning
• Managing the benefits of a project
• Change management
Its consultants also provide professional speaking training and coaching.
Formed in 1995, Project Agency works with a rage of clients drawn from the following sectors: financial services; media and publishing; professional bodies and charities; universities and higher education; retail and service industries; industry and technology; pharmaceuticals, and the public sector.
Ron Rosenhead, Project Agency, +44 (0)20 8446 7766; rr ( @ ) projectagency dot com
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, +44 (0)1727 860405, bob.little ( @ ) boblittlepr dot com