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8 Roles of a Project Sponsor

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A project sponsor is the owner of a project who represents the sponsoring business unit. The sponsor is typically accountable for the following aspects of a project.

1. Business Case

The strategic basis for the project such as a business case or business plan.

2. Funding & Resources

Securing the funding and resources for the product.

3. Communication

Representing the project at the executive level and to impacted business units. The sponsor plays a critical role in gaining acceptance for the project and managing resistance to change.

4. Project Governance

Monitors the progress of the project and project risks to ensure that the project aligns to strategy and the interests of the sponsoring business unit. Accountable for delivering the business benefits of the project as stated in the business case.

5. Relationships

Manages relationships with the program manager, project manager and stakeholders.

6. Performance Management

Manages the performance of the project, clears issues and arbitrates disputes. Supports the project manager to overcome hurdles in a timely manner.

7. Decision Making

Makes decisions as business interpretations, project approaches and strategies are refined over the course of the project. In many cases, the sponsor doesn't directly make all decisions but provides a decision making framework.

Accountability & Responsibility

A sponsor needs the visibility and authority required to champion the project. It tends to be a time consuming role and it's common for the role to be divided between an executive level individual who is accountable and a working level individual who is responsible. In many cases, these two roles are known as Executive Project Sponsor and Project Sponsor.
Overview: Project Sponsor
Executive Project Sponsor Definition
The person who is accountable for representing the sponsoring business unit in a project.
Project Sponsor Definition
The person who is responsible for representing the sponsoring business unit in a project.
Related Concepts

Project Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about project management.
Acceptance Criteria
Acceptance Testing
Actual Cost
Basis Of Estimate
Behavioral Requirements
Burndown Chart
Change Control
Change Control Board
Change Fatigue
Change Request
Concept Note
Cone Of Uncertainty
Corrective Action
Cost Baseline
Cost Contingency
Cost Control
Cost Overrun
Cost Variance
Defect Density
Definition Of Done
Document Control
Earned Value
Estimate At Completion
Estimate To Complete
Feasibility Analysis
Fudge Factor
Full-Time Equivalent
Human Factors
Issue Management
Lead Time
Lessons Learned
Level Of Effort
Opportunity Study
Out Of Scope
Parametric Estimate
Phased Implementation
Planned Value
Program Management
Project Charter
Project Communication
Project Complexity
Project Concept
Project Controls
Project Failure
Project Goals
Project Management
Project Metrics
Project Planning
Project Productivity
Project Proposal
Project Risk
Regression Testing
Requirements Quality
Return On Investment
Risk Register
Schedule Baseline
Schedule Chicken
Scope Baseline
Scope Creep
Set Up To Fail
Smoke Testing
Stakeholder Management
Statement Of Work
Story Points
Use Case
User Stories
Variance Analysis
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The definition of project concept with examples.

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A list of common project risks.

Project Management Basics

A list of basic project management techniques.


A definition of workaround with examples.

Stakeholder Management

An overview of project stakeholder management with examples.

Action Plan

A definition of action plan with examples.

Cost Overrun

The primary types of cost overrun.

Document Control

The definition of document control with examples.

Project Oversight

A guide to project oversight.

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A list of common project risks.

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A list of common project stakeholders.

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A list of common business risks.

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Risk Treatment

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Risk Register

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Risk Perception

A definition of risk perception with examples.


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