10 Tips for Being a Good Project Sponsor – A Guide to Effective Project Management

The Significance of Effective Project Sponsorship

In relation to project management, the role of a project sponsor is far beyond serving as a mere emblem for the project. It incorporates making significant decisions and setting directions. In conjunction with “Strategies for Project Sponsorship,” a guide by James, Taylor, and Rosenhead, we explore the key components of being an effective project sponsor.

Essential Aspects of Effective Project Sponsorship

The fundamentals of effectual project sponsorship encompass diverse areas, including the procuring of relevant project resources, swift decision-making, understanding project management techniques, recognizing when to discontinue a project, acknowledging significant achievements, managing financial shifts, setting specific targets, overcoming unawareness, honest communication, and appreciating risk and reward aspects. Herein, we discuss these tenets in detail.

Procuring the Right Project Resources

The vital role of a project sponsor lies in ensuring the project’s efficient and effective execution, which requires the optimum utilization of resources – these could be financial, human or material. The responsibility of securing financial resources thus rests with the project sponsor, who has to negotiate with other senior leaders to give the project what it needs to deliver on its goals.

Making Prompt Decisions

Timely decisions are instrumental in cost-effective project management. The project sponsors need to make decisions promptly, communicating their choice to the team. Despite the possibility of disagreement, clear justification of the decisions can ensure team alignment.

Understanding Project Management Techniques

While project managers often handle the technical aspects of project management, it is beneficial for project sponsors to understand these techniques, allowing them to engage more effectively with the team and contribute more directly to the project’s goals.

Knowing When to Concede

Project sponsors must be prepared to recognize when a project is no longer viable. If a project no longer aligns with business benefits and exceeds its budget and schedule, it’s time to call it off, despite potential conflict and discomfort.

Celebrating Accomplishments

A vital facet of the role of a project sponsor is the acknowledgment of the team’s accomplishments. This boosts the team’s morale, enhancing their dedication and alignment with the project objectives.

Managing Financial Changes

Project sponsors also need to manage and communicate any financial changes promptly to their project managers, facilitating the development of creative solutions for potential issues.

Overcoming Ignorance

Project sponsors must strive to overcome their own knowledge gaps surrounding project execution. By engaging with the team and understanding their methods, project sponsors can ensure they make informed decisions.

Setting Goals

For a project to succeed, clear goals need to be set, and it falls to the project sponsor to provide these. Effective communication of project goals by the sponsor can give the team a clear sense of direction.

Communicating the Facts

Effective communication, especially regarding project progress, is crucial for project success. Clear, factual communication from the sponsor can guide the project manager and the team in their tasks.

Understanding Risk and Reward

Finally, project sponsors need to maintain a transparent attitude to risk. They should communicate their risk tolerance to the team and show a clear understanding of the associated potential rewards and losses.


By putting these tips into practice, project sponsors can significantly enhance their effectiveness, leading their projects to success. These principles can be instrumental in steering someone into the role of a proficient project sponsor.

At Qamodo, these principles serve as guideposts that aid in the smooth execution of projects. Qamodo’s project management tool takes into account these considerations resulting in an effective and efficient platform for managing projects. Whether it’s the organization of tasks, the control and visualization of processes using Gantt & Kanban, client relations or overall project management; Qamodo provides a comprehensive solution that empowers project sponsors, project managers, and teams alike.