Project Management Institute

Effective project sponsorship

an evaluation of the role of the executive sponsor in complex infrastructure projects by senior project managers

Although project management literature often discusses the role of the project executive sponsor, it fails to describe the factors contributing to effective project sponsorship, a role that researchers and practitioners are increasingly associating with project success. This failure is exacerbated by research focusing on either the structural or the behavioral factors (primarily the former) that most commonly define key project roles. This article examines the role of the project sponsor in an attempt to bridge this emerging structural-behavioral schism by using an approach based on Grounded Theory and supported by in-depth interviews with 30 senior project managers and project directors who managed internal infrastructure projects. In doing so, it first reviews the literature to understand how researchers define the project sponsor's role and then discusses the case study, describing its methodology and identifying the participants before outlining the nine major attributes.
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