Sponsorship: Source (http://www.durtion-driven)


Sponsorship in projects are active senior management role, responsible for recognising business needs, opportunities and problems associated with the business (APM,2010). This entails that sponsorship is the key decision makers in product development and ensures that the business case is viable before further investment. However, the sponsor enables the project objective to remains a viable and ensure that the benefits are realised, resolving any issues outside the control of the project manager. On the other hand, the major role of a sponsor is to control or guild the product benefit and opposes the project manager or the scrum master when necessary(APM,2010). Although, there are other form of sponsorship, but this report will strictly anchored on project sponsorship.
However, APM (2010) reviewed that sponsors need to have the following characteristic:
  • A business leader and decision maker who is able to across functional boundaries with an organisation;
  • An advocate for the project and the change business will bring.
Therefore,project or product sponsorship are one of the major key player in product development and they oversees the quality of product throughout the project iteration.

Agile value

  • XP
The XP value in agile project management that is related to sponsorship is communication and simplicity. Sponsors are group, individuals or organisations that provide the financial resource in cash or in kind (Gardiner,2005).communication enables effective collaboration throughout the product iteration as a result of customers on-site. However, the user stories helps in communicating the product development to the sponsor and captures necessary correction for the next iteration. On the other hand, the sponsor might not be present, but delegate product owner for effective feedback in order to justify their financial investment. Nevertheless, the product owner acting on-behalf of the sponsor must update the sponsor and product team on future expectations, problems encountered and how to resolve those problems this process must be simple and understandable.
  • Scrum
The scrum presents the product sponsor with product owner this product owner automatically represents the sponsors of the product. However, the product owner releases planning such as writing user stories, prioritising the stories and clarifying the meaning of the stories for the purpose of estimate. This practically shows that the product owner is answerable to the sponsorship of any product development because he/she will justify product development and financial expenditure to the sponsor.

Agile principles

  • Agile manifesto principle
Agile processes promote sustainable development because the sponsors should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely (Cubric,2013). This means that the product owner who is the sponsor’s representative should be involve in the development of new product and refactoring to ensure that the products are fit for purpose. On the other hand, the sponsor welcomes change requirements in agile principle, even in late development for the customer’s competitive advantages. This entails that the change is always welcome in agile principle in order to meet up with customers’ requirements.
  • XP
The agile principle that is related to sponsorship is increment change because the product owner must be involve in product development in each iteration in order to justify financial benefit of the business. Humanity in agile is the most important with sponsorship in agile principle because product development has to deal with people factor in order to achieve success in projects . However, humanity in agile has to deal with amicability, talent, skills and communication. The product owner need to have this quality in order to effectively take the customers need on board because the customer is the key drive of sponsorship of any product development.

Agile practices

  • XP
The planning of XP game brake the problem in to a set of user stories determines the scope of the iteration using business priorities and technical estimate( Beck,2004).This means that the sponsor is involve in the development of the user stories in order to capture the client requirement. However, customer on site means that the sponsor representative will be on site throughout the product development to ensure that financial value of the product is been justify. Furthermore, agile practices ensure interactions and adaptation through close relationship and close responsibilities. This is because when effective interaction is engage between the sponsor and the product developer. The business need will be strictly anchored on financial value in order to ensure that customers need is effectively satisfied. This can be achieved by guiding vision and establishing simple rules by the project team.
  • Scrum
Scrum will help the project sponsor to determine the progress of a product development. However, everyone welcome, only one team report in scrum, this will enable the sponsor to effective oversee the product development. On the other hand, scrum allows the sponsor of a product to ask question such as, what has been done, challenges encountered and how to enhance performance on the next iteration.


In traditional project management the sponsor of a product is independent of the product development which is one of the main contributors to project failure (IJNCAA,2011). In addition, cost estimate process is essential at the early stage of product development in traditional project management sponsorship as a result of change in business case. However, agile system and process balances business rules to fit in as flexible systems that can adapt quickly under the pressure and turmoil of change during product development. For example, the sponsor can justify financial expenditure during project development in agile as changes occurs because the product owner is on site. On the other hand, since the customer is not involved throughout all the iteration it will be difficult to implement change without cost escalation and time overrun.

Links from this KA to other KAs

  • Cost management
This is because cost in agile is strictly anchored on business value in which the sponsor of the project is fully engaged by the product owner during plan release or developing user stories.
  • Project stakeholder management
The sponsor or sponsorship of a project in agile is considered as a stakeholder. In this case the project owners have to be convinced the sponsor concerning justification use of fund.


Association for Project Management(2010)APM BODY OF KNOWLEDGE, 5th eddition
Beck, K. (2004). Extreme Programming Explained, 2nd edition. Adisson-Wesleay
Cubric, M., 2013. Agile Manifesto Principles, 7BSP1018 Agile Project Management Lecture Slides. University of Hertfordshire, unpublished
Gardiner,P(2005).Project Management:A strategic Planning Approach.Palgrave Macmillan
International Journal on New Computer Architectures and Their Applications (IJNCAA) 1(3): 942-952 The Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications, 2011 (ISSN: 2220-9085)[Online] avaliable at:http://sdiwc.net/digital-library/web-admin/upload [Accessed 13 February 2013]