In this issue, we will give a short brief on the role of executive sponsors in the success of any project. This article is produced from the PMI’s 2018 report titled “ Pulse of the Profession”.
For a complete report please visit https://www.pmi.org/learning/thought-leadership/pulse
Champion organizations realize the right project, program, and portfolio management practices give them a competitive edge. But there’s always more that can—and should—be done. For the past six years, PMI has been conducting additional research to determine which factors have the most impact on project success. Based on a rigorous statistical analysis, the following three things rise to the top when it comes to helping organizations save millions of dollars:
- Investing in actively engaged executive sponsors
- Avoiding scope creep or uncontrolled changes to a project’s scope
- Maturing value delivery capabilities
In this issue of the newsletter, we present the first critical success factor: Invest in Executive Sponsors
Support for a project is priceless. Actively engaged executive sponsors help organizations bridge the communications gap between influencers and implementers to significantly increase collaboration and support, boost project success rates, and reduce risk. An analysis shows that the dominant driver of projects meeting their original goals is an actively engaged sponsor. We see that organizations with a higher percentage of projects with actively engaged executive sponsors (more than 80% of their projects) report 40% more successful projects than those with a lower percentage of projects with sponsors (less than 50% of their projects).
Effective project sponsors use their influence within an organization to actively overcome challenges by communicating the project’s alignment to strategy, removing roadblocks, and driving organizational change. With this consistent engagement and support, project momentum will stay steady and success is more likely.
Executive sponsors who guide a project to fruition are critical to project success. One in four organizations (26%) reports that inadequate sponsor support is the primary cause of failed projects. And, the divide between underperformers and champions is almost 2.5 times: 41% of underperformers say inadequate sponsor support is a primary cause of failure versus only 17% of champions.
“We know that great project leaders deliver great projects,” said Tony Meggs, Chief Executive, Infrastructure, and Projects Authority (IPA). “Part of being a great project leader is being an actively engaged sponsor as it helps ensure stakeholders are aligned and the vision is communicated effectively. In government, we recognize this and support our sponsors through our world-class Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA), developed in partnership with Oxford Saïd Business School.”
For the sixth year in a row, PMI’s research shows that having actively engaged executive sponsors is the number one top driver of project success. Yet, we also see that not enough projects and programs have assigned executive sponsors in underperforming organizations (42% versus 83% of champions). This situation results in significant losses for organizations around the world, but our research shows there are some simple solutions organizations can establish to see results:
- Create a culture that supports the relationship between project managers and executive sponsors
- Develop a roadmap, which includes skills and actions, for the executive sponsor
- Provide training to prepare executive sponsors
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|Statistics of Interest as of 31 July 2018|
|PMI® membership is 540,038|
Total Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders: 876,500
Total Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification holders: 35,894
Total Program Management Professional (PgMP)® credential holders: 2,462
Total PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® credential holders: 1,878
Total PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® credential holders: 4,858
Total PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification holders: 22,783
Total PMI Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® credential holders: 578
Total PMI Active Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®: 2,850
Worldwide, there are 294 PMI® chapters, with a total chapter membership of 283,530
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