Project initiator vs project sponsor in Project Management
Some project management references suggest that project initiator and project sponsor are the same, but strictly speaking the two roles are quite different. While the role of project sponsor is clearer, the role of project initiator is not commonly mentioned. So who is the project initiator? What is the role of project initiator? What is the differences between project initiator and project sponsor?
Here is a general description to project initiator and project sponsor:
· Project initiator: The person from whom the project idea originated
· Project sponsor: The person who has the authority to overcome major obstacles to completing the project, which includes defining project goals, securing resources, and resolving conflicts. The sponsor oversees the project and provides guidance, direction, oversight, and political support to the project manager and the project team. He or she approves the project proposal and project charter and provides the formal sign-off for acceptance of a project’s final deliverable(s).
Sometimes, project initiator and project sponsor are played by the same person, especially when the projects are originated internally. However, it is not necessarily always the case.
Figure: Embedded Instructions, Samples and Requirement Tools with Progress Indicator in Visual Paradigm Enterprise
The role of project initiator is to initiate a new project to fulfill someone’s needs (internal request / the market). It is not a formal role, in fact, any person who suggests the need of a project is a project initiator. Such a role may not even have any responsibilities nor involve actively throughout the project management lifecycle. Once the project has been initiated (by project initiator), project sponsor take the role to assign the project to the project manager, and to support the project continuously until the project is complete.
The screen below shows the entering of project initiator and project sponsor in Visual Paradigm’s Project Management Tool – The Project Management Guide-through process.
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