Good Practice: A senior business sponsor should be identified at the highest possible level in the organisation and named in the project definition document.
A steering committee must be set up and operational from the project's beginning. The steering committee is responsible for taking all critical decisions about the project and should be composed of senior managers from the business.
The chair of the steering committee has ultimate responsibility for the project. The project manager leads and is fully accountable for delivering the project described in the project definition document.
In his article Six Ways to Give Proper Project Leadership Dr Keith Mathis offers this advice:
The project sponsor is perhaps the second most influential person on the project, after the project manager and in some cases may even wield more influence on project results.
Note: Before starting your project, find a committed project sponsor with enough clout in your organisation. Your project sponsor will prove invaluable in helping you overcome organisational roadblocks as they arise.
A project without a senior business sponsor is at serious risk of failure.
Question 1: Do you have adequate business sponsorship and leadership?
Question 2: Have you defined and understood the business objectives and benefits?