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Vishwadeep Khatri

Business Excellence Sponsor

Sponsor

 

Sponsor - is a senior person in the organization who authorizes and allocates resources and funds for a business excellence project. He should possess high influence in the business unit and should be in a position to approve the financials / costs for projects and initiatives.

 

 

An application oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Kavitha Sundar on 26th October 2017. 

 

 

Question

A Sponsor is someone who funds Business Excellence in a company, a strategic business unit or a function. What are the most important qualities desired in a Sponsor to ensure that Business Excellence will thrive in the organisation?

 

 

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Question: A Sponsor is someone who funds Business Excellence in a company, a strategic business unit or a function. What are the most important qualities desired in a Sponsor to ensure that Business Excellence will thrive in the organization?

 

Project Sponsor is usually a senior most person or sometimes the project manager himself or even a chair person. Resource planning is an important activity in project management. Once the resources are planned, the training takes place if the expertise skills lack. But usually, mapping happens according to the skillset of the team. Success rate of the project depends on the skills.

 

Project sponsor is also not exempted from this. A technically sound Project Sponsor should possess Problem identification and decision making skills, motivating and building cultural change in the organization as change agent, Communication both upwards & downwards, proper guidance / direction from them.

 

If the project sponsor is not willing for the project in the beginning itself, at any point in time, the project may fail. Hence it is important that the project manager gets the project sponsor involved in to project identified and aware of the milestones studied. Most importantly select a sponsor for project or else, the project suffers.

 

There are few top qualities that the sponsor should have in order to success the project. They are discussed as follows.

1.       Deep insight on the problem: Sponsor should be in a place to clearly understand the problem which has to be solved. He / She should give an answer to questions such as “What is the problem? New one / Old ? How intensive the problem is? Who created it? What is the impact? “etc. The problem may be existing problem in the organization or opportunistic approach for predictive problem.

 

2.       Deep diving into root causes: Sponsor as part of all the milestones, he should be able to collect all critical X’s Which impacts the output(Y). Identify the real root causes but not the symptoms. He should judge the analysis relating to symptoms / real root causes. For E.g. The TAT for discharging patients is around 12 hours. If the project team works on reducing the TAT from 12 hours to 4 hours as per the standard, then automating the process may be a feasible solution. But Without identifying the VA & NVA, without eliminating NVA, automation is just a wasteful activity though it adds value to the organization. It only addresses the symptoms but not the root causes. Hence process reengineering along with automation is the best solution.

 

3.       Decision making: When a team selects a project, it is easy for them to solve multiple issues at one go with a proposed solution. If the project has to increase its scope / budget / time, a sponsor should decide considering the business requirements. Sponsor should ensure the project is focused on arresting the bleeding issues and not widely taking up all, because a team can’t do all at a time.

 

4.       Implementation of solution: Sponsor plays a major role in communicating he solutions/ changes proposed upwards and downwards. He acts as a change agent. He should clearly envision the problem, root causes, how solution helps the team, how issues will be solved if implemented, what would be the benefit, to the management.

 

5.       Basic needs, performance & Excitement needs: Sponsor needs to have this accountable to company. He should know what good enough is for the project, for the organization, for the customer. Good enough is nothing but you have taken the company’s needs, translated into requirements / CTQ and for which solution is proposed. Customer’s needs are very important while in starting and completing a project. Without delighting / satisfying the customer, a project is again not successful. Also a sponsor is cautious enough so that the organization’s resources are not wasted and should not over deliver / under deliver the solution.

 

6.       Build the team right: Sponsor should build the right team with right people, right skills, right time, etc to deliver the project deliverables. He should possess a strong relationship among the team to run the project project. He should trust the team and vice versa. He should appropriately select the team and stakeholders with the required skills. Inexperienced or new manager can’t take up the lead position, which fails the project. It doesn’t mean the new guy can’t lead. It depends on the nature of the project. Most of the time, when a project fails, it shoulders the new project manager’s/ team members. Always make them accountable for the project success. Make sure resources are rightly allocated. Shouldn’t be over staffed or under staffed. Make sure you remove if any non-performers are there in the team. This is always helpful for the success of the project.

 

7.       Accountability: Make sure as a sponsor, you make the project manager / team accountable for the success / failure of the project. Regularly meet up the team. Get the updates. Provide suggestions if required. Always keep up the timelines specified. Ensure the team is focused on the project scope and goals, timelines and deliverables. A relaxed Project sponsor will always end up with the failure of the project.

 

8.       Critical X’s Vs. Non Critical: Sponsor are the one who has to keep engaged on the issues, and the devise a strategy onto the issue. List down all the factors causing the problem, prioritize the X’s, stay focused on the critical X’s rather focusing on the non-critical ones. Sometimes proposed solution may be just enough to solve the noncritical issues. Hence sponsor should cautiously utilize the team. Being available to the bigger issue itself is a biggest help that a sponsor can do to his team. You ensure that the team is accountable for each and every task that they do.

 

9.       Mentor / Influencer: Best sponsors are not those who sits just into office and take updates once a while. Best sponsors get himself into the issue along with the team, identifies the root causes and devise a strategic plan to arrest the issue. He takes risk in trailing certain solutions. He influences people to adapt to the change prescribed. Being available is tehe best help that he can provide.

 

10.   Trial and error method: Best sponsor is the one who makes a thoughtful decisions through tough problems along with the team. He is not feared of any problems. He trails the experiments and proposes a best solution. He allows risk to become a feasible solution.

 

11.   Strong controls over the completion of the project: Sponsors always create a governance plan along with the solution to be implemented. He implements and sustains the solution in oder to completely eradicate the problem from the organization. Sponsors communicate effectively the completion of the project as well being the change agent, creates a cultural change in a positive manner.

 

12.   Pull the plug / Accept the failure: Sponsor should also accept the failure not only success of the project. Uncertainty of the project to be accepted and motivate the team.

 

Summary:

Sponsor plays a vital role in business excellence model. He should be open to all challenges and active. He should be a good communicator, decision maker and strategist. He should also allow risk and help the team learn and unlearn.

Sponsors along with the team can definitely make a difference between success and failure of the project.

 

Thanks

Kavitha

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Since it always works efficiently and effectively when we introduce things in top down approach, sponsors play a crucial role in Business Excellence journey. Most important qualities needed for the Sponsor is the appetite to understand the latest Business Excellence strategies adopted in the industry. Sponsor should make Business Excellence initiatives part of strategic goal starting right from the vision of the organization. Sponsor should have open mind to invest efficiently for Business Excellence with long term returns in mind. Sponsor should play an ongoing role of being the brand ambassador for the Business Excellence initiative which will motivate people to make these part of their initiatives. Regular communication from Sponsor on the importance of these initiatives to the organization plays a crucial role. Also Sponsor should make Business Excellence initiatives journey progress review a key part of regular governance activities. Sponsor should also make sure that progress status are communicated to organization to keep people in action. Appropriate rewarding mechanism to encourage the Business Excellence initiatives will keep the momentum going.

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Business Excellence Sponsor is a crucial role in organizations that are driving large scale business excellence initiatives at organization level. Business Excellence Sponsor is the helm of these initiatives. He or she can really define and determine the extent of influence business excellence initiatives will have on the organization’s performance. He or she should be a person with rich experience in decades and in a role position that has extensive decision making capability and capacity.

Considering the criticality of the role, he or she must have below characteristics to be able to drive business excellence initiatives brilliantly.

-       Ability to envision – strategic intelligence, prioritization  

-       Ability to visualize the challenges of future

-       Ability to drive changes – operational intelligence

-       Ability to drive cultural changes – culture building

-       Ability to focus on value generation – business acumen

-       Alignment of business and social interest – social relevance

-       Ability to nurture leadership and coach – people skills

-       Ability to spread trust and empower – leadership

-       Ability to find win-win solutions – teamwork and conflict management, decision making  

-       Never accepts status quo or never becomes complacent at any level of achievement

-       Good acceptance across the organization to influence decisions

-       Strong understanding of processes and master black belt

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Business Excellence Sponsor:

 

The most important qualities that are desired from a sponsor are.

 

Must be visionary 

Must be daring to take risks 

must be a financial responsible person 

must be a person who stands backing the project in tough times 

Must be a good motivator a good listener 

Must have the nature of trust on the agenda of the project.

Must be willing to also participate in the project and project steps 

Must have the quality of having patience 

Must have the quality of having good rapport with the people 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Business Excellence is a Team effort!!

A Sponsor is the individual who funds Business excellence in an organisation. Here, funds should not be taken as monetary input only at all times, but also investment of time, effort and expertise. When the sponsor is an Investor of money only ,his prime focus would be on the Return on Invested Monies.

The Business Excellence sponsor is primarily accountable for overall excellence in business in the Organisation. He is concerned with ensuring that the business excellence program that he is sponsoring, delivers the desired Business Vision or Business Goal of the organisation. He represents the organization, playing a vital leadership role through a series of areas:

-          He is the provider of the business perspective and expertise to guide the Management.

-          He prescribes the culture for “Business excellence” by propagating the concept throughout the organisation to ensure funding, capacity and priority.

-          He is the Catalyst for decisions and issues which are beyond the authority of the business managers.

-          He is the face of the organisation for the investors and external stakeholders- A link between the organisation and the business community and other business minds and the Market’s Strategy Leader groups.

 In today’s era of entrepreneurial start up, the sponsor of Business excellence is normally the CEO or Promoter of the Business.

The Qualities that the Sponsor needs to possess to ensure that Business Excellence is thriving in the organisation are inclusive of the following:

-          Vision oriented with strategic intelligence to render the vision into reality. Needs to visualize a road-map for the team , keeping the end in mind.

-          Process Oriented, to be able to lay down a structure to the method

-          Needs to have focus on orgnisational Culture Building by laying examples through directives and action.

-          Needs to have the ability to align the business with the community culture and interests- constructing a cultural stand

-          Needs to be able to make Decisions and train / coach the second in commands to develop leadership skills- Must believe that though he is the Lion, his roar is the team below him.

-          Needs the ability to bring about bonding within the team and align them to the vision for business excellence.- yet again he needs to raise above delegation and believe in empowerment.

-          Needs to create a partnership with the suppliers/ vendors  and instill a sense of involvement wherein the suppliers / vendors work with the interest that drives the business excellence

As he owns a stellar role in the scheme of business excellence he must posses diplomatic skills with proficiency in:

-          Business operations

-          People Management

-          Project Management

-          Pace Mediation

-          Change management

-          Conflict management

-          Risk Management

-          Result implementation

-          DMAIC  & DMADV Methodology

The Sponsor is looked upon as the person who will “Rock the Boat” i.e. the person who will drive the organisation to the next level of Business Excellence.

 

 

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Following is a list of few qualities for a Business Excellence Sponsor:

 

1. He should be good at setting clear, specific and measurable goals which will help to establish accountability for a high performance team

2. Build high levels of trust within team members and stakeholders

3. Enable frank, honest and open communication between all team members

4. Good change management and conflict management abilities

5. Should not be shy of taking risks

6. Should nurture and encourage innovation

7. Should ensure fair reward and recognition and not tolerate mediocrity

8. Should be humane in his approach to understand issues 

9. Ethical in his approach

10. Most Important - Should Walk the Talk

 

 

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1.    First and foremost, Sponsors has to been trained on Six Sigma as a metric and methodology.

2.    As the project sponsor is responsible for project charter, he/ she should have complete process knowledge and should be proactive in approach..

3.    Sponsor should be able to fix the metrics for project based on their expectations.

4.    Before handing over to process owner, sponsor is a person who acts as surrogate process owner before handover.

5.    Sponsor should judge the project for correctness and approve it accordingly.

6.    Sponsor should provide the right resources and appropriate timelines

7.    He/She should be capable of evaluating the analysis of problem identified.

8.    Every stage of improvement project D, M, A, I, C should be approved by the project sponsor

9.    An understanding of the common sense, systematic and objective approach is required for the sponsor in every step of project success.

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Sponsor's are high level or senior business leaders.

 

QUALITIES OF SPONSOR

  • Proactive motivator who helps in growth of the organization and his own self.
  • Help in defining the team's objectives and articulating the problem statement. 
  • Validating business case in the project charter.
  • Act as liaison between the team and senior management.
  • Accelerate decisions at critical times of the project.

 

 

 

 

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Below is the table Showing Qualities of a sponsor and when,where and how those qualities are helpful

 

Qualities

 

Why/ When/ How those qualities are helpful

 

Leadership

 

1.      Provides leadership and guidance about the culture and values of business.

2.      Provide direction and guidance about business strategies and project initiatives

3.      Identify and qualify project benefits and manage project benefits realization

4.      Recommends opportunities to optimize cost/benefits

5.      Keep resources in place to ensure success

Vision

 

1.      Clearly understand the problem to be solved

2.      Recognize when a project isn't going to deliver the results as originally expected

3.      Know when higher priority projects supplant the current project

 

 

Business Awareness

 

1.      Providing business expertise and guidance to the Project Manager.

2.      Keeps project aligned with organization's strategy and ensure that the business need is valid and correctly prioritized

Decision Making

 

 

  1. Identify project critical success factors.
  2. Determine Project scope.
  3. To have a mitigation plan for project risk.
  4. Taking decisions that may be beyond the authority of the Project Manager.

5.      Ensure the solution fixes the problem

6.      To check that project team doesn't waste organization resources by over-engineering a solution at the same time avoiding to over-simplify things thereby under-allocating resources to fix the problem

7.      To remove non-performers as and when necessary

 

 

Influencing

 

1.      Selling and marketing the project throughout the organization.

2.      Negotiate funding for the project and be a spokesperson to the senior management

  1. Acting as the link between the project, the business community and perhaps most importantly

 

 

Communication

 

1.      To launch the project properly.

2.      Selling and marketing the project throughout the organization.

3.      Initiating project reviews and supporting the process of review.

4.      Provides real time feedback and lessons learnt to the entire team

5.      Involve stakeholders in the project and maintain their ongoing commitment to the project

6.      Review changes to the project environment, including schedules, priorities, tasks, etc.

Motivation

 

1.      Motivating team members in each and every phase of project

 

 

Conflict Management

 

1.      Resolving issues (typically competition for resources and priority clashes) that are beyond the control of the Project Manager, resolving conflict and removing obstacles to progress

2.      Governs project risk, ensuring risks are managed

3.      Negotiate with stakeholders to gain consensus when differences of opinion take place.

 

 

Ensures Accountability

 

1.      Owns the business case

2.      Overall quality of the project, both the methods used to develop it and the end product, Evaluate the project’s success on completion

3.      Provides assurance, ensuring the project is under control, ensuring changes to the project are properly managed

4.      Provides assurance, ensuring the project is under control

5.      Hold the team accountable for results

6.      Ensuring changes to the project are properly managed

7.      Keep the team focused on dates and deliverables

 

 

 

 

Action Oriented

1.       Ensure the solution fixes the problem

2.       Know the big issues and what is needed to resolve them

3.       Resist the urge to take on additional work at the last minute

 

 

Collaborates

1.    Be a partner to the project manager by helping to think through tough problems

Courage

1.       To make a good business decision that may be unpopular.

2.       To cut losses and stop a failed project

Customer Focus

1.      Keeps project aligned with organization's strategy and portfolio direction, ensuring that the business need is valid and correctly prioritized

  1. ensuring that the project remains a viable business proposition

 

 

Builds Effective Teams

1.      To prepare project organization, roles and reporting structure.

2.      Identify key members that should be part of steering committee.

 

 

 

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The key elements for any business excellence program will include Leadership commitment, Strategic focus, customer orientation, Fact based Management, Human capital management, Process management, Result orientation and Continuous Improvement.

 

Keeping the above in consideration, a Business Excellence Sponsor (referred to as B.E. Sponsor) would be expected to possess certain qualities, of which, some are discussed below.

 

1.     Visionary thinking:

Business Excellence is all about bringing positive change and transformation. A B.E. Sponsor should be able to imagine and envision the kind of transformation that is to be expected through the business excellence program. This would require constant exposure to industry best practices and leading success realities, based on which the vision may also undergo continual updating.

 

2.     Strategic Thinking:

Strategic Thinking is going to help convert the vision to missions that would be executable. Such thinking is futuristic and assists to conquer and overcome obstacles that come in the way of proceeding towards one’s goals. Many a time the strategic thinking will propel modifications and improvisation of the approach and methodologies to reach the business goal.

 

3.     Business Acumen:

Any Business Excellence program is going to be considered value adding only if it aligns and help achieve business goals. It is important that the sponsor is keen and quick in understanding and dealing with a "business situation" (risks and opportunities) in a manner that will steer the business excellence program accordingly.

 

4.     Team Leadership:

The B.E. Sponsor will have to closely work with the organization’s leadership team and help them translate the Strategic business goals to objectives that are deployed as Projects and Programs with accountability. An effective policy deployment exercise could bring out clear linkage between set of projects that are aligned to the overall business goals of the organization.

 

5.     Perseverance:

Getting a set of projects deployed and effected through a group of leaders may not prove an easy task and will certainly encounter challenges and resistances, even from stakeholders. Progress may not come by every time as planned and committed. The sponsor will have to be patient, good listener and perseverant to follow the progress of the programs and provide support as required.

 

6.     Objective Decision Making

Decision making and getting decisions made are important qualities for a B.E. Sponsor to overcome issues and to keep the program moving. Many a time we say that “Making some decision may be better that remaining indecisive”. This quality also aids the quality of adapting and managing change. Objective decision making also associates with “Fact Based Management”, which is an essential element of a Business Excellence Program.

 

7.     Persuasiveness:

Especially when the sponsor is nominated by the Executive Leadership Team, he / she will have to approach them to obtain certain decisions, approval. Providing appropriate justifications and convincing them requires persuasiveness. Similarly this quality is essential to get many teams at peer or other levels to accept decisions and changes as may be required from time to time.

 

8.     Change Acceptance:

Despite fixing the objectives and approaches, there could arise the need to change priorities and programs due to various factors, some of them could also be unprecedented. The ability to accept, adapt and manage change successfully to get the organization back on the B.E. track is an important Quality for the B.E. Sponsor. This quality is connected to the decision making quality and also the persuasive quality.

 

9.     Process and Result Orientation:

Process Management is key for sustained results. The entire Business Excellence Program is going to be considered any good and supported only if it links up to positive business results. Sometimes it may be important to show ‘quick wins’ to secure the confidence of the Top Management to continue support the program. Good balance of process and result orientation is an essential quality for the B.E. Sponsor.

 

The above are some of the typical traits that are expected from a B.E. Sponsor and would not be exhaustive. It may be kept in mind that the styles of management differ from individual to individual and when we observe many successful sponsors, we may expect variations in the manifestation of these qualities.

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A Sponsor is usually a higher -level executive or a business leader in an Organisation. He is normally responsible for any improvement projects.

What a Sponsor does?
1. Owns and approves (sign off) the Project Charter which includes
     a).Ensures the problem statement is rightly captured
     b).Ensures that the project objectives and goals are clearly defined
     c).Vets the business case and makes sure it is rightly addressed
2. Acts as the bridge between the project team and the leadership team
3. Takes decisions when there is an issue/need for clarity during the course of a project
4. is part of the Toll-gate review meetings and his/her approval would be required in those

    meetings
5. Ensures a balanced project team is available to execute the project

6. Provides all kind of support to the project team                                                    
   a).Ensures that right Six Sigma green/black belt human resources are available

   b).Ensures that necessary financial support is provided

   c). Ensures Infrastructure support is available
   d).Ensures enough manpower is available across the relevant teams.

7. Ensures necessary trainings happen in place to upskill the knowledge base of the project team

 

 Key Qualities of a Sponsor to ensure that Business Excellence thrives in an Organisation

 

1. Should have visionary on which areas he/she has to focus on to ensure his/her organisation

    can be competitive in its line of business.
2. Have a visionary process improvement plan to implement all the process improvements in a

    streamlined manner. That can be always revisited later but an initial high level plan has to be

    there.
3. Promote Process improvement projects throughout the organisation so as to create the buzz

    and garner support for such initiatives across the organisation to enhance business

    opportunities.
4. Create the culture and ensure process improvement ideas/initiatives is imbibed in the DNA of

     the Organisation staffs.
5. Provide support to the project team at difficult situations and back the team to complete the

    Process Improvement project.
6. Reward the team with proper recognition in the form of incentives and promotions and take

    care of the individual needs in terms of professional growth.  
7. Show confidence on the members of the project team and back them up to complete the

    project successfully on time.  
8. Lead by example by showing Honesty, Integrity and Commitment to self, to the team and to the

    leadership team to which he may be part of, as well.
9. Should be an Inspiration to the project team in every aspect and should be a good motivator.
10.Should be willing to be patient to see the necessary or expected outcome.
11.Should create right metrics to make key stakeholders aware of where the project is

      progressing and how it can impact the business growth positively.

 

Conclusion

A sponsor should focus on the areas where improvement is needed and have a long term visionary plan to streamline the improvement initiatives. Also he/she should have confidence in the project team which does the actual work and ensure the team is properly recognised and its professional needs are taken care.

 

The more trust the team has in the sponsor, better is the response to the outcome of such improvement projects.  With all these qualities and with right metrics to portray the growth, a sponsor would be able to help an organisation’s business , highly competitive.

 

 

 

 

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A Sponsor can "Make" or "Break" the Six Sigma Initiative in the Organization. As popularly stated : Six Sigma succeeds & is sustained with a Top Dow Approach : Commitment & Involvement has to come from the Top Leadership !!

Qualities that make a Idea Sponsor :

Learner : A Continuous Learning Mindset is very important for the Sponsor to Lead from front

Facilitator : A Sponsor brings together the "Right Team" on the project. This is essential to ensure a Best Outcome

Listener : With an Open Mind & a Listening ear, the Sponsor can lead the team to the "Maximum"

Authority : The Sponsor should be someone who has the Authority & ability to clear roadblocks of all kinds

Visionary : When the Sponsor is also a Visionary, the organization & team benefits immensely in creating the Future

Jack Welch probably was a good Sponsor !! [ at GE ]

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Sponsor act as a surrogate process owner until an owner us named.  Following are the desired qualities of a sponsor:

1. Sponsor should be able to provide linkage to higher levels of the organisation and to some extent able to to provide visibility across the organisation as well. 

2. Sponsor should be able to remove roadblocks,  anticipate potential problems. 

3. Sponsor should be proactive with regard to assigned project. 

4. Sponsor should actively participates in projects. 

5. Sponsor should be able to review of progress of project. 

6. Sponsor should be able to identify and overcome barriers and issues. 

7. Sponsor should be able provide adequate resources for the completion of project. 

8. Sponsor should be able to evaluate and should accepts deliverable. 

9. Sponsor should be high level individual who understand six Sigma and are committed to its success. 

10. Sponsor should be able to give guidance to leaders in the art of 'visioning',  without a vision,  there can be no strategy. 

11. Sponsor should be master of communication. 

12. Sponsor should demonstrate strict adherence to ethical principles. 

13. Sponsor should be able to make trust,  should not violate moral code that allow people to wok and live together. 

14. Sponsor should have honesty,  integrity,  and other moral virtues. 

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Responsibilities of Sponsors: they are leadership team's member.

1.They take decision on projects.

2. They selects Six Sigma projects & project result accountability are on them. Sponsors also have Champions under them.

3. They  must ensure process improvements are captured properly and sustained till the end.

4. They articulate problem statement.

5. Define team's objective

6. They provides resources(MBB, BB etc).

7. Sets priority & accountabilities.

8. They must support champions/MBB/BB

9. They sets up high expectations, sets behavioural role model.

10. They must check the knowledge of facts of expert.

11. Checks always wheather the project is at per with departmental and strategical objectives.

12. Checks all the LSS phases and approves accordingly.

13. Checks on timely deliverables and on budget too.

14. Approves change request and removes problems/issues or barriers.

15. Matches the outcome with desired result.

16. Marketing of the same.

 

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Some of the qualities that I could think of, a Project Sponsor should possess in order to ensure that a Business excellence culture thrives in the organization:

 

1.       Change-leadership skills. They should be open to accepting and drive change and relentlessly challenge the status -quo.

 

2.       Decision making capabilities. They should have the ability to make decisions.  Once the data, analysis and recommendations are ready, they need to make the decision and steer the team in the correct direction. Sometimes depending on the social political and economic factors within the organization they may need to fine tune the recommendations.

 

3.       Influencing capability. They should be able to influence the people. They should be authoritative to make the decision and influence the resources that decision/project might affect. Effective sponsors should develop their listening skills, and empathy. They should be personable, as they would need to build a rapport, to influence. Being boorish would backfire later.

 

4.       Effective Communicator. They should be skillful in communicating up to the Board, down to the project manager/project team members and with peers across departments. The need to articulate the benefits of the project and should be able to answer questions and justify the project to others. They should be open to listening to criticisms to discuss with the project team.

 

5.       Well organized. An organized approach helps a sponsor to be a better communicator because being organized helps to have the data information to support arguments.

 

6.       Understanding of the Business. The sponsor should have a good understanding to effectively link projects towards the strategic goal of the organization.

 

7.       Motivating. A good project sponsor should be able to motivate and engage people on the project team, regardless of what their personal drivers are, to do a good job and to participate actively at work.

 

8.       Conflict Resolution/People Skills. Any improvement project would have resistance and conflicts. A sponsor should be adept in handling and resolving conflicts to keep the team moving in the right direction.

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The qualities required of a good sponsor of Business Excellence would be drawn from the Sponsor’s responsibilities. The typical qualities required for carrying out those responsibilities effectively could be summarised as under.

A.    Strategic Level Qualities

1.     High Professional standing in the organisation’s Board or CXO level

2.     Domain Knowledge of the relevant Verticals

3.     Awareness of Market Trends

4.     Reasonable level of Tech savvy-ness

5.     Understanding of Structured Improvement methodologies including Lean and Six Sigma

6.     Ability to align organisational programs and initiatives to the organisation’s Vision, Mission, Strategy and Objectives

B.    Tactical Level Qualities

7.     Ability to cascade the organisational objectives into goals for various programs and deploy the same in various Departments and levels across the organisation

8.     Ability to articulate the benefits of structured improvement approaches to different opinion leaders in the organisation

9.     Stakeholder Management to keep all interested parties satisfied

10.  Knowledge and ability to use Financial KPIs to measure and improve effectiveness of Business Excellence initiatives

C.    Operational Level Qualities

11.  Ability to remain at a 30,000 feet level to view the larger picture and when required come down next to the an Operator on the floor and identify issues

12.  Ability to trouble shoot projects that are stuck, liaise with peers across the organisation and clear roadblocks

13.  Conflict management – typically between an Improvement Project leader and Process Owner

14.  Commitment to remain totally neutral in tollgate reviews

D.    Other Soft Qualities

15.  Verbal and written communication skills

16.  Ability to identify trainable resources for training in structured improvement methodologies

17.  Perseverance in not being put off by obstacles

18.  Multi-tasking in monitoring and following up multiple projects

19.  Flexibility in adapting structured improvement methodologies to achieve Business Excellence Objectives

20.  A passion for Excellence that overrides everything else

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Thanks to each one of you for active participation and providing great responses. Question raised by VK regarding the qualities of sponsor to ensure that business excellence will thrive in organization was well explained by Kavitha Sundar.

I would take this opportunity to appreciate other members who were very close to the race that includes Anita Upadhyay, Arunesh Ramalingam and Venugopal. Kuddos to you all for providing the good answer and continue contributing for building world’s biggest dictionary

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