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The Executive Sponsor role – panel debate with senior leaders webinar

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Part 2 in this 4 part Enhancing Sponsorship within the project profession – webinar series

We heard the key issues for senior leader involved in the governance of change from Financial Services, Postal, Oil and Gas, and Transport sectors. They debated/discussed their views on the key findings and recommendations from our recent sponsor survey of project professionals involved in governance of change.

The finding and the recommendations from the sponsor survey include:

  • The role of sponsors in the governance of change
  • How well sponsors are held to account for successful outcomes of change
  • The need for a sponsor competency framework
  • Benefits of and approach to sponsor training
  • Next steps for sponsorship in the project profession

This webinar presented on Thursday 23 July 2020 is part of an engagement series presenting the results of the sponsor survey and discussed/debated the implications with project professionals with experience in these areas working in the Financial Services, Postal, Oil and Gas, and Transport sectors.

The series includes:

The APM Governance Specific Interest Group is engaged in improving investment outcomes through better governance of change, and promoting effective sponsorship is crucial in achieving this. We have a number of publications and support material available through the APM for sponsors to help them achieve more successful business outcomes from major change.


Panel members

Tim Carroll graduated in engineering and his early career was spent on engineering and project management for the petrochemical sector. Then he moved to the IT sector, delivering business applications, financial dealing room technology and an early market trial of interactive TV. For the past twenty years until recent retirement he has worked in the financial service sector, for Standard Chartered Bank. He was Group Head of Project Management, responsible for improving the delivery performance of change projects through better project management processes and training. He also introduced improved investment processes across the organisation. Latterly he has focused on regulatory change programmes including Basel II rules for risk management, US tax reporting regimes, the EU GDPR data protection regulations and the UK financial regulator’s Senior Managers Regime, which imposed governance requirements upon the organisation and its most senior leaders. Executive sponsorship and engagement were key to these programmes.

Nick Gray has spent his career working on complex major infrastructure programmes in the UK sponsoring and delivering enhancements at all stages of the lifecycle under a range of governance and management frameworks. His roots go back to London Underground as a graduate Civil Engineer and then Docklands Light Railway project managing a diverse range of jobs from light rail extensions to business recovery following the Docklands bombing. A move to Network Rail led to senior roles on enhancement programmes. Highlights include sponsoring the iconic redevelopment of Kings Cross station and sponsoring the £5bn Thameslink Infrastructure Programme guiding 100 component projects as well as leading delivery of £780m of enabling activities. He had a spell as head of profession for the 320 strong nationwide sponsor community and is now programme director covering risk and assurance in the Centre of Excellence for capital delivery.

Peter Horsted has in the delivery of major change and played a key role the delivery of the award winning Royal Mail Transformation. He is seen as a Subject Matter Expert on the subject of developing competence and professionalism at an individual, team and programme wide levels across the P3M lifecycle. Linking his own sponsorship roles to wider competence in others he is a long standing champion and advocate of the need to progress the theory and application of the roles Sponsors play in the delivery of successful outcomes.

He is a member of the APM Volunteer Steering Group (VSG), member of the panel that assesses full and fellow membership applications. Previously he has sat as a member of the People SIG and also as Chair of the Corporate Members Leadership Group (CMLG). He is a Chartered professional with RPP and is also an Honorary Fellow of the APM.

Andy Jinks has over 30 years of experience of working in the transport sector. His career has spanned both the highways industry and rail (main line and underground). He has held a wide variety of senior leadership roles in areas such as strategy & planning, asset management, major projects delivery, engineering and commercial. He joined Highways England in 2016 as development and sponsorship director where he is the programme sponsor for the £5bn flagship Smart Motorways programme. Over the last 10 years, in both Transport for London and Highways England, he has been accountable for sponsoring major capital programmes of work as well as playing a key role in developing the sponsorship profession. Andy continues to take the leading role in embedding sponsorship, as a profession, into Highways England.

Sarah Johnson, CEO Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body
Sarah has spent the majority of her career working in senior roles in m She joined the R&R Programme as CEO for the Sponsor Body from High Speed 2 where her role as sponsorship director was accountable for the relationship between HS2 Ltd, and the Government; covering a range of activities including the HS2 Business Case, HS2 Sponsor Requirements and preparations for the submission of a Bill to Parliament for the next phase of the scheme. In her current role, Sarah has overall accountability for the R&R Programme, overseeing a delivery authority and managing the relationship with both Houses of Parliament to determine the overall requirements for R&R.


Martin Samphire is the owner and managing director of 3pmxl Ltd, a consultancy specialises in helping clients to transform their business using structured P3M approaches. Martin is a APM Governance Specific Interest Group (SIG) committee member, and former chair. The APM Governance SIG has developed guidelines for governance of project management, including 'Directing Change', 'Governance of Co-Owned Projects', 'Sponsoring Change' and ‘Directing Agile Change’. He authored chapter 19 on Governance in the 2nd edition of the Gower Programme Management Handbook (2016). He is also a member of a voluntary group, the P3M Data Club looking to improve Business Integrated Governance (BIG). 


This webinar is suitable for professionals with an intermediate level of experience.

Webinar resources

Tim, Nick, Peter, Andy and Sarah have very kindly allowed this discussion to be made available for viewing. The slides on Slideshare, and the webinar recording on YouTube are now available in our APM resources area and also embedded below for reference. 

Additional supportive resources on sponsorship



Books - APM publications

 #apmgovernance   #apmwebinar

APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition reference

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