Executive Sponsorship - How do you get it and what do they do?

Posted by Shelley Sweet on Friday, June 4, 2010 - 13:15

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Executive Sponsorship is so important, but organizations do it many different ways. What I find is that choosing the right sponsor, and being clear on what they do is critical. So how does your organization find sponsors at the process level and for the organization? And what critical value do they add?

There is a white paper by Lombardi on the BPM Institute site

How to Scale Your Process Documentation Initiative


that has some good ideas, but at a more sophisticated level. I go more simply with clients to start.


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Charles Harbour
posted 5 years 44 weeks ago
One thing that is absolutely critical (and something that you can help with) is that your sponsor understand that they need to support the effort <in its entirety>. They need to understand that they are proposing change that will not be accepted by everyone with open arms. They need to accurately judge how much resistance the project will receive, so they can meet it with the appropriate response (which ultimately needs to be 'my way or the highway'). There is room for negotiation with regard to schedule, with regard to the projects used for proof of concept and pilot projects, with regard to the people immediately impacted (don't overburden your already stretched-too-thin production personnel)--but there is no room for negotiation with regard to whether or not we're doing BPM. A sponsor that waffles at a critical time does more harm than good--get them to commit up front, inform them that it's going to be a bumpy ride and help them understand the pratfalls, so that your project will be a success. Part of getting them on board can be presented in the form of cost savings--a similar posting today on this site talks about using BAM to capture costs associated with processing--leverage that by providing accurate estimates of the new process to justify the worthiness of the improvement project. Give realistic and detailed information to your sponsor about the people involved in the improvement project--how will this impact their daily lives? How will it make their job easier/allow them to create more accurate information/spend less time on trivial tasks and more time on high-brainpower tasks. Justify your own existence with how you're helping others to do their jobs better (and the more specific you can be here (lots of examples), the better).
Shelley Sweet
posted 6 years 44 weeks ago
I have found with my clients that there are three important things for sponsors to do: 1. Set the improvement targets for each of their BPM initiatives or projects 2. Select a strong project lead for the project and help select the team members 3. Help the team stay focused, through periodic check-ins, and questions that keep the project moving toward the intended goals/improvement targets, vs. getting diverted or into the weeds. What else have others found is critical?

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