Mastering Change through Active Project Sponsorship

"Without clear, strong sponsorship, a project will not have the means to gain support in the business, overcome people's tendency to resist change and secure necessary resources."

Possibly one of the most difficult positions to get right, sponsors need to find the right balance between over-interference and abandonment.

This workshop ensures that project sponsors know how to fulfil their role, effectively partner with their project leader throughout the journey of the project and keep a project on track to achieve its goals and benefits.

Delegates experience a powerful combination of the "soft" and "hard" aspects of sponsorship. Covering such topics as how to define a project, assess project health, establish a partnership, coach the project leader, review and give feedback on progress and performance, manage Stakeholders, and formally review and close a project.

Practical sessions with feedback promote immediate application of the process and tools, and sensitise the sponsor to the challenges confronting their Project Leader and themselves.

Workshop outline

Gives details of all the standard sessions, however we are always happy to customise this workshop to meet your specific needs.


Typically 1 day followed by Project Sponsorship 2

Target participation

This workshop is designed for senior employees responsible for sponsoring project leaders through a project.

Support materials

To accompany this workshop, delegates receive 'Mastering Change through Project Management', a comprehensive guidebook complete with toolbox. Lively, practical and comprehensive, it offers an unequalled depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and tips designed to provide on-going support through each step of the project's journey.

Dealing head on with the realities facing sponsors and project leaders, it makes a genuine reference tool and journey companion. A link to our website provides invaluable access to templates for immediate use.

This valuable resource is available in either printed or electronic format.

Ongoing development

Sponsorship Part 2: Active Project Sponsorship: The Coach

Workshop Outline


Expectations and objectives are established and the agenda summarised.

Business context

Participants explore the benefits to the business and its employees, of adopting a common approach to project management.

Assess the current strengths and gaps in how projects are progressed, and clarify how this process relates to other business initiatives.

The Project-Change Frame®, products and players

This session ensures that the sponsor achieves familiarity with the supporting guidebook and templates, the definition of a project, the roles involved, and the ten phases in the Project-Change Frame®.

The right sponsor

This session looks at the sponsor role, the challenges of sponsorship, pitfalls to avoid and the qualities sought. Participants complete a sponsor fitness review to see how well equipped they currently are for sponsorship.

Getting started

This session explores the priority actions when first assigned the role of sponsor, with practical sessions around selecting the right project leader, contracting with the project leader and preparing and conducting the first meeting.

The Project Contract

The project contract is introduced and its benefits and value explained, with practical sessions on its completion and review.

Sponsorship throughout the Project-Change Frame®

The essential skills for sponsorship - active listening, coaching and motivating - are practiced and reviewed.

The process and techniques for reviewing both the project and the project leader ensure that the right balance between challenge and support is provided.

The formal review stages are covered in detail, with structured support on what to do at formal review points and guidance on how to continuously review performance.

People in the project

Participants are alerted to the many relationships to be managed throughout the life of a project and their responsibility towards project team members, stakeholders, the project leader, the project-portfolio board and the project leader's line manager.

Key challenges

This session asks participants to examine what they should do, both when inheriting the role of sponsor from someone else and when passing the role on, to ensure that the project and project leader are not negatively impacted.

Participants are then asked to confront the challenge of closing down a non-viable project in a professional manner, ensuring that all the people involved take on board the lessons learned from this project, whilst remaining motivated to take on other projects in the future.

Changing expectations

Participants are challenged to step into the shoes of the different project roles and examine their changing expectations, questions, concerns and needs as the new process is implemented and developed over time.

Reflect and review

Participants confirm the key lessons they will apply in the workplace before reviewing the event itself.