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5.0 out of 5 stars The 'go to' book for project sponsors, 8 July 2013
This review is from: Strategies for Project Sponsorship (Kindle Edition)
Strategies For Project Sponsorship (SPS) is a fine (and entertaining!) book by project management gurus Vicki James, Ron Rosenhead and Peter Taylor, which plugs a gaping hole in industry literature by comprehensively, pragmatically, and concisely addressing all aspects of project sponsorship. A quick scan of Amazon reveals just a handful of other books with a similar focus, compared with project management titles which run into the tens of thousands! Coupled with the fact that effective project sponsorship is consistently cited as a major project success factor, we're left scratching our heads as to why this area has remained so neglected for so long - BUT the wait is over!

SPS is a well written, well structured, waffle free zone, brimming with practical advice for project managers and sponsors alike. The book covers the entire project life cycle and clearly explains how the roles and responsibilities of the project sponsor should interface with those of the project manager at each stage of the cycle. The authors have helpfully split the book into three parts: I) For the Project Manager; II) For the Sponsor; III) For the Organisation. This is great as sponsors are far more likely to read their specific section (everyone loves to feel special, right?) - 27 pages of solid gold - than to find the time to read an entire book.

The book benefits from the combined authorship of three industry giants who have a vast amount of cross sector, international experience between them. I particularly enjoyed the real world case studies that are presented throughout the book, which bring concepts and strategies to life. The material presented is backed up by references to some serious research, notably The Standish Group's 2012 CHAOS report, The Year of The Executive Sponsor, as well as the results of surveys conducted by the authors - detailed results of which are presented in the appendices.

I liked the book's coverage of soft skills e.g. how to bond with and influence your sponsor and project team; how to work with challenging sponsors; how to upskill your sponsor! The authors point out that many experienced sponsors may be `Too cool for school', and instead propose more subtle (education by stealth!) approaches to addressing the sponsorship skills and knowledge gap.

Overall, `Strategies for project sponsorship' is highly readable (only took me a few hours) and frequently had me chuckling out loud - a most unusual and welcome quality in a management book! The authors conclude with a call to action to join the `Campaign for Real Project Sponsors`: Well Vicki, Ron, Peter, you had me at hello! The book is also complemented by a LinkedIn Group of great people, devoted to the cause, that I'm pretty sure you'll want to join as soon as you put it down.
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Initial post: 9 Jul 2013 07:17:03 BDT
P. B. Taylor says:
Many thanks - glad that you liked the book and for the review

Peter

The Lazy Project Manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early
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