Case Study
From to patchy to positive change leadership

After working with a client to implement a new change delivery framework, we had revised the role of project or programme sponsor. Prior to the new framework and role:

  • Change was often late and over budget
  • The whole point of the change sometimes got lost
  • Ownership didn’t really sit with the business area who wanted the change and they relied heavily on IT
  • The training and adoption of new tools was patchy

They were investing in a huge change programme, so the sponsor role was critical to their success in seeing the big benefits delivered.

What we did

We developed an 18-month investment plan that included:

  • Training all sponsors in their role with practical tools and exercises to help them day to day
  • One to one follow up support for each sponsor
  • A quick reference guide for sponsors with key hints and questions to ask themselves as they led their projects
  • A 360-degree feedback tool for sponsors so they can get good quality feedback on how they’re doing
  • Using the change board as a virtual community of practice for sponsors to share best practice and jointly solve problems.

Although the project governance of the business continues to evolve:

  • We put the sponsor role in place for all projects / programmes – they can’t get prioritised or begin without it
  • The business areas are stepping up and owning their projects and programmes
  • Delivery has improved.


Sponsors initially described “a lack of technical expertise in the role”, “lack of clarity on the role”, “lack of clarity on expectations” and “I don’t know how to deal with sponsor role and the day job”

At the end of the sessions they said

“For a novice sponsor such as myself, comprehensive training and no holds barred communication of expectations prior to taking on the role was vital.”

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