Performance management report for project sponsors- must do better

The group were sipping coffee and chatting until I interrupted them.

I asked them take a look at the question posed putting some thoughts onto post it notes. The question was:

So what is project sponsorship like in your organisation?

Slowly, they started to write. I called a halt just before I started speaking (this was an event hosted by the British Computer Society in central London.)

The results: shocking.

Every picture tells a story and the one below is no different. There is only one positive comment with too many negative ones. The full list of comments can be seen here

From British Computer Society Meeting February, 2016 London

From British Computer Society Meeting February, 2016 London

To clarify; the column on the left are positive comments about project sponsorship and the ones on the right are negative ones.

As one person commented afterwards; “if this was a performance management review, there would be some harsh words said to sponsors – they must do better.” I smiled and agreed.

The demand for project managers is increasing and the demand for project management training is increasing. The latest edition of Project, the magazine from APM said between 2010 and 2020 61% of organisations offer project management training for their staff. However, how many offer project sponsorship training? Very few, according to my researches.

How can we expect project managers to deliver effectively if project sponsors do not engage and play their part?

I started to think about performance management for project sponsors. How are this key group assessed. I of course am making an assumption there is some form of assessment of their skills. However, I have yet to come across the company that builds performance review and project sponsorship together. If your company does have this please get in touch and tell me how effective it is.

To have a performance review you need a clear role for the project sponsor and many companies do not have this. Simply go here and download the free checklist (underneath the order now button) which should help.

Performance management reviews for project sponsors (as opposed to say their Director or senior management role) seems a long way off. But we can start the process by having the sponsorship role through say the check list and maybe, just maybe, we will be able to introduce performance management for sponsors! Let us start the conversation.



This Blog was first published by Arras People in February 2016

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