Situational Sponsorship of Projects and Programs



Book Title:  Situational Sponsorship of Projects and Programs: An Empirical Review
Authors: L. Crawford, T. Cooke-Davies, B. Hobbs, L. Labuschagne, K. Remington, P. Chen
Publisher: Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price: $29.95
Format: Softcover, 200 pages
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978-1-933890-46-3
Reviewer: Jemillatu I. Lewally, PMP
Review Date: Feb 2024


This book examines the meaning, purpose, dynamics, and significance of situational sponsorship roles within an organization and its impact on the project/program management. Situational sponsorship in this context refers to the appointment of a representative referred to as the “senior responsible owner – SRO” by the sponsoring organization, with the main responsibility to make decisions on investments and to guide the direction of the business, in line with the strategic direction of the sponsoring organization. The role and influence of the sponsor is determined by the organization and project type.

The owner organization is referred to as the permanent organization and the implementing organization, the temporary organization. The sponsor is typically appointed to deal with a “situation”, drive change and make improvements for the successful implementation of the projects/programs.

The research presents the results of an investigation conducted by a team of six researchers working on five continents, using the methodology of a literature review, followed by empirical study organized in three phases: Phase 1, five preliminary studies conducted independently; Phase 2, case studies of 36 projects/ programs in 9 organizations; and Phase 3, validation workshops.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The report is presented in 6 chapters. Chapter 1, which introduces the report, is followed by five additional chapters. The literature review is presented in Chapter 2. The research design and methodology are presented in Chapter 3. An analysis of the case study organizations, their projects and programs, and their governance arrangements are presented in Chapter 4. The analysis leads to the development of a conceptual model of the sponsorship role, which is presented in Chapter 5. The report closes with a conclusion in Chapter 6, followed by references and 4 appendices providing more details of the studies.

The report mostly focuses on the analysis at the project level, particularly on the relationship between the sponsor and the temporary organization, and less focus on the link between the sponsor and their permanent organization. The research methodology was purposely designed to take a holistic view of the sponsorship role within the projects/programs and organizational context and ensuring inclusion of the views and experiences of sponsors as well as those of project managers, team members, and other stakeholders.


  • Emphasis is made on two key dimensions to the sponsorship role – Governance and Support. In relation to governance, the sponsor has the responsibility of:



To read entire Book Review, click here

Lewally, J. I. (2020).  Situational Sponsorship of Projects and Programs: An Empirical Review, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/pmwj139-Mar2024-Lewally-Situational-Sponsorship-of-Projects-and-Programs-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Jemillatu I. Lewally

McKinney, Texas, United States


Jemillatu Lewally is a PMP certified, multi-skilled Project Manager, passionate about international development and ESG-focused project management.  She has over 20 years of experience in international development management, public policy and governance, particularly in stakeholder engagement. She has coordinated and managed several socio-economic development projects in various sectors such as health, gender, agriculture and most recently construction. She volunteers frequently by providing project management services for nonprofits such as the PMI Atlanta Chapter, Community Consulting Teams of Atlanta. She also likes volunteering in her children’s schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, a Master of Public Policy from the Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA and a Master of Arts in International Development Management from the University of Bradford, UK.

Email address: jemilla2@yahoo.com

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