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A guide to project sponsorship


Project sponsorship offers organisations huge opportunities when implemented successfully. While significant work has been undertaken to improve project performance via project delivery teams, little has focused on critical issues of sponsorship and leadership. This may be attributed to the sponsor’s role being hard to define and lacking traction in the boardroom. 

In 2015, APM ran an extensive research project investigating the Conditions for Project Success. The 12 conditions provide a conceptual framework against which real project delivery could be assessed. The research concluded that while the conditions were widely accepted as being integral to successful project delivery, they were infrequently applied and almost never in full. In five of those conditions, the project sponsor has the lead role.

Sponsors’ Summit

APM has committed itself to addressing this critical enabler of project success. In January 2018, APM held a Sponsors’ Summit with it's Corporate Partners, government bodies and key stakeholders to start the process of building a shared understanding of how to improve the sponsorship of projects, programmes and portfolios.

The summit focused on real-world experiences from the wide range of sectors represented, and was undertaken under terms of full confidentiality.

Building sponsors – future project leadership

This report lays out key themes that drew a broad consensus. We encourage all those interested in how sponsorship might impact their work and business to use this document to help inform debate within their organisations and networks.

Download the full report