The success of a transformation project is a sensible combination of the following key elements: strong and supportive sponsor, complementary and engaged project team, structured and agile project methodology, business-oriented change management team, reliable innovative and ease to use software.
The backbone of a project
To make these elements interacting properly, the project spine or backbone must be strong. The spine here is the couple composed by the Sponsor and the Project Manager.
We are not talking here about tactical projects with no major business changes, nor about pure innovation project or startups where change is the essence of life.
We are talking here about companies implementing strategic business projects to transform their operations and to increase business execution excellence. These projects are transforming business department and sometimes the complete organization, which explain why change management is so important.
This kind of project is unique, by definition, bringing change and innovation to the organization. The business project manager / product owner implements these changes; the sponsor supports the project manager executing these changes and decides.
This spine is a must to successfully deliver project value and what happens if this tandem does not work properly?
– The project can simply stops, which is emotionally difficult for the project team, but may be positive to the organization, expressing a lack of project readiness or need,
– The project goes to the end, generally with high costs (human and financial) and delay, bringing poor or negative value to the organization.
How to secure this tandem?
Sponsor and project manager must be complementary, trust each other and both in a position to take strong decisions and diffuse change management.