The past few posts have begun the crucial discussion that all companies must have when embarking on any ERP or business transformation project: What internal resources must be involved, where, and to what level for a project to succeed. The most recent post discussed what role an Executive Sponsor should expect to play, and the five key areas of that role.

So now you understand the role of an Executive Sponsor and have the ensuing key responsibilities down, right? You understand the importance of removing roadblocks, aligning the project to the organizational strategy, and more from the previous post. The next important question to address is what kind of time commitment an Executive Sponsor should expect to plan for in this new role.

Time commitment expectations

Time commitment isn’t as clear cut as the roles are which the Executive Sponsor should play since every project brings with it a wide range of variables specific to the individual company and project. Variables to consider when planning for this time include company size, project scope complexity of both the company and the project, and duration of the project to name a few and get you thinking in the right direction.

A general rule though is to expect to commit 10-20 hours per month in your role as Executive Sponsor. Please note: I am suggesting you should expect to commit that time, not that you may be spending that much time. This is because it will be more successful and effective if the time is planned and allotted, not squeezed in at the last minute on top of an already hectic and over scheduled day/week/month. This is a ball that cannot be dropped or the project can quickly become off schedule or derailed. You must stay on top of communication and the big picture. That’s not something to squeeze in because it will all too easily get squeezed out.

As I’ve said previously: in business I don’t like surprises. It is my goal to provide at least a framework for these roles and time commitment so you too can plan your resources effectively and with realistic expectations.

There is no doubt: an active and involved Executive Sponsor can have a beneficial impact on project outcomes. Next time I will discuss the role of Functional Managers. Finally, to wrap up this series we’ll cover the role and importance of SMEs to your project.

If you would like more information about the role of an Executive Sponsor, please download our paper. It includes a more detailed description of the content in these past two posts to help clarify and define these expectations, and explains why they are important.

Dennis Reader, PMP, ITIL, CSM

Dennis brings his ERP and project management expertise to every project. He delivers value to clients across a variety of business verticals including HR, Finance, Operations, eCommerce, Marketing, Web, and Order Management. He was recognized as PMO top performer of 2014 for his ability to direct effective teams that consistently meet or exceed project goals and objectives.