Do Project Sponsors Need Project Management Qualifications?

The website published an article last month asking the question “Do Sponsors Need to be Qualified in Project Management?” ( An interesting question but one that raises another question…if qualifications for sponsors were mandatory, would we have any projects to deliver? Maybe more distressing to project managers; would they really want their sponsor questioning every project management technique they applied?

Project sponsor involvement is certainly pivotal to success, and the project manager has a role to play in educating and defining the role of the sponsor in the project. Any education or qualification for a sponsor would not replace this activity; different project requirements, different approaches from sponsors and project managers make this process mandatory for successful project delivery.

Understanding if the sponsor wants overviews or detail, what priorities apply to the triple constraints, how to manage financials and the management reserve and a number of other items lie with the project manager to advise and negotiate with the sponsor.

So, do sponsors need qualifications? YES, – on the processes they and the project manager will use on each and every project. Have you worked with and gained agreement with your sponsor on the processes you are using on your project?

Note: Mindavation provides a number of workshops and keynote that address sponsor engagement, most notably the Preventing Troubled Projects keynote presentation. For details, emails us at You can learn about all of the Mindavation offerings at or