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The Framework of the Project Sponsor Role – The Balancing Act (#6 in the series Looking for Your Sponsor? The PRINCE2™ Project Board Approach to Senior Management Engagement)
By Jay Siegelaub – MBA, PMP, PRINCE2

It appears that what we are asking from our Sponsors, and what we need to provide to them, is turning the Project Board approach into more of a burden than a help. But as with all aspects of project management, it is a balancing act. The things we are looking for from our Project Board will help mitigate major project risks. As with any effective risk management analysis, we have to weigh the costs of not addressing these risks (project failure? endangerment of organizational initiatives? squandered resources?) against the costs to mitigate those risks (the extra effort to support our Sponsors). Since those risks relate to the fundamental success-or-failure of the project, additional costs and efforts to implement this risk mitigation (engaging these Sponsors) are likely to be worth it. In smaller or low-risk projects, some of the responsibilities and/or Project Board expectations may not be necessary, so this approach would be tailored to the specific needs of those projects. The larger or more complex the project – or the greater risk it carries for the organization – the greater the need for this type of project oversight.

Jay Siegelaub has over 30 years of professional experience delivering and supporting projects in information technology, insurance systems, banking, and nonprofit strategic planning, as well as in the pharmaceutical, financial service, consulting, and consumer products industries. As a recognized educator he has trained thousands of project managers over the past 23 years, including 13 years as the Project Management tutorial instructor for the Drug Information Association.

Jay’s recent responsibilities included leading the North American Change Management and Training practices for a UK-based management consulting firm, training corporate consulting professionals in project and program management, and supporting clients in managing the “people” issues of their business change initiatives. He has authored articles on training, project management and information technology for various publications, and often presents at conferences, including the PMI North American Congress (1999, and 2004 – 2007), ProjectWorld and ProjectSummit.

In addition to his PMP® certification, Jay has his MBA in Organization Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and is an accredited PRINCE2™ Practitioner, Instructor and Examiner. He has taught and consulted in PRINCE2™ in North America for 10 years (the first US-accredited PRINCE2™ instructor), and worked for the company (and with the authors) that wrote the PRINCE2™ Manual for the UK government.

He has provided Change Management and Project Management consulting and training (including PRINCE2) to companies such as Sun Microsystems, NATO, the United Nations Development Programme, Bechtel, IBM, Philip Morris, Credit Suisse, JPMorganChase and Diageo.

Jay also consults in Organizational and Professional Development.

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