Network Rail sponsors

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yorkie

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Can anyone explain what a "Sponsor" is?

Its a job role within NR, I suspect @Bald Rick may have it on his long CV...

So we know from the above post it's a job role at Network Rail.

A quick search finds there appears to be job titles including Project Sponsor and Assistant Sponsor.

The first time I heard it was while playing football, and was told some of the people playing were sponsors, and I was confused about what exactly that meant.
 
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ag51ruk

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Its not a Network Rail specific term, its commonly used in project management- it is effectively the internal customer for a project and often isn't a full time job.

A definition from an external blog below


"According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the project sponsor is “a person or group who provides resources and support for the project, program or portfolio for enabling success."
 

Ianno87

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I think the best way to put it is the Sponsor basically is custodian of a pot of money to develop a project. They may do one big project at a time, or multiple smaller ones. This could be anything from a capacity enhancement scheme to renewals to installing a new point motor.

The sponsor sort of acts as the "middle person" between a client who sets the overall requirement for the job ("give me capability to run an extra train per hour") and the people who do the actual design or delivery work. They act almost as the "guiding mind" for the project, obtaining development money for what work they think is required to be done, setting more detailed requirements for the work, then checking that the detailed outcome is aligned with the requirement set of them by the client.

That's it in very simple terms, I'm sure somebody else could elaborate much better!
 

MarkyT

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I think the best way to put it is the Sponsor basically is custodian of a pot of money to develop a project. They may do one big project at a time, or multiple smaller ones. This could be anything from a capacity enhancement scheme to renewals to installing a new point motor.

The sponsor sort of acts as the "middle person" between a client who sets the overall requirement for the job ("give me capability to run an extra train per hour") and the people who do the actual design or delivery work. They act almost as the "guiding mind" for the project, obtaining development money for what work they think is required to be done, setting more detailed requirements for the work, then checking that the detailed outcome is aligned with the requirement set of them by the client.

That's it in very simple terms, I'm sure somebody else could elaborate much better!
About right. When I was a renewals engineer, after we had identified a scheme and had written requirements as the client, each would be allocated to a particular sponsor when it was time to start further development, who would negotiate a nascent project through early GRIP stages and obtain financial authorities before handing over to a project manager for detailed development and delivery. Sponsors remained involved and in charge of the GRIP process throughout to completion for oversight but more at arm's length once a PM had been appointed. At the time they worked for the projects organisation, administering a portfolio of schemes of similar size or type usually for a particular engineering department.
 
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moggie

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About right. When I was a renewals engineer, after we had identified a scheme and had written requirements as the client, each would be allocated to a particular sponsor when it was time to start further development, who would negotiate a nascent project through early GRIP stages and obtain financial authorities before handing over to a project manager for detailed development and delivery. Sponsors remained involved and in charge of the GRIP process throughout to completion for oversight but more at arm's length once a PM had been appointed. At the time they worked for the projects organisation, administering a portfolio of schemes of similar size or type usually for a particular engineering department.
Yes I'd agree with that. In addition I'd add in my experience the sponsor was also consulted by the project on various significant matters of specification and occasionally scope, particularly where there to achieve compliance with a specified outcome to the original scope might drive a sub-optimal / perverse engineering solution which the project considered could be improved on by an agreed uncontested change. That in itself has potential to be dangerous contractual territory for all parties but involving the sponsor early doors usually resulted in better engineering outcomes at best or at least the clarification for the project on what or how the desired output was to be delivered.
 
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