“The executives in industry cannot simply stand outside the action and adjust themselves to trends; their actions make the trends” (Morgan, 1989).
Myth #1 – Project sponsors do not need to “routinely” engage their project.
The number one reason for project failure is lack of sponsor engagement (PROSCI, 2014). While buy in to an implementation typically is from the top down, ongoing participation is not!
Studies indicate active and visible executive sponsorship are the top contributors to success. The need for executives and senior leaders to be involved and visible during all stages of an implementation is critical to sustain the significance of the initiative. Alignment of priorities among organization leaders relative to the organizational vision, business strategy, implementation execution, and measurable objectives are key factors that contribute to implementation success. It is unlikely to be achieved with invisible sponsorship thus providing unspoken approval for other key stakeholders to mimic like behavior. The end result…well you know!
Understand this! Project sponsors require coaching and mentoring too! Specifically, a sponsor must understand their role and what is expected of them. Coaching and mentoring requires working closely with the sponsor and the sponsor must have confidence in the direction provided. To gain a higher probability of their routine involvement, document expectations and specific activities and ensure the sponsorship is meaningful to all levels in the organization.
Employees look to senior leaders for messages (both spoken and unspoken) about an implementation’s importance and the organization’s commitment to the engagement. Sponsorship is more than signing a check and kicking the initiative out the door. Highly engaged and committed sponsorship can realize a winning advantage in the execution of an implementation.
Call To Action – Are you experiencing a lack of engagement from your executive program/project sponsor? How are you addressing the challenge?
About the SAP’s Chief Customer Office:
The Chief Customer Office’s mission is to help SAP’s customers achieve success. The team averages 18 years of SAP experience. When SAP started the CCO, the team was 99% reactive. Now the CCO is 73% proactive and typically gets involved before the implementation starts. All programs the CCO provides SAP’s customers are at NO CHARGE. The one criteria for engagement is that we have a cadence with the customer executive (CIO or LOB leader).