Last edited 16 Jul 2021

Project sponsor for building design and construction

On publicly-funded projects, the project sponsor (sometimes known as the project director or client manager ref Achieving Excellence Guide 2 - Project Organisation) is,

...the interface between the client team and supply team via the project manager, as the main day-to-day client representative'

Ref OGC Project sponsor.

The project sponsor might be equivalent to a board director in the private sector.

For a very detailed description of tasks to be performed by the Project Sponsor see OGC guide Project organisation: roles and responsibilities (bullets listed below).

  1. preparing business case and investment appraisals and updating as required
  2. ensuring that Gateway reviews are undertaken
  3. managing the resources allocated by the SRO
  4. working within delegated authorities, including health and safety
  • manage the department's interests in the project by:
  1. coordinating and directing user input
  2. appraising options (with assistance from independent client advisers, as appropriate, and the project manager) and submitting them to the SRO for approval
  3. preparing the project brief for the project manager, making the role of design clear in setting the brief and achieving the goals of the project
  4. controlling changes (if required) following approval, ensuring that change control procedures are adhered to
  5. ensuring appropriate risk management on the project
  6. managing the project budget, including the risk allowance
  1. appointing the integrated supply team (see AE5:The integrated project team) coordinating and fostering teamwork
  1. determining the procurement route (see AE6:Procurement and contract strategies)
  2. producing the project execution plan, including the risk management plan, in collaboration with the project manager
  3. ensuring the project is managed in accordance with the project execution plan
  4. establishing formal reporting arrangements on project progress
  5. providing a focal point for all client contact with the supply team, providing approvals and decisions as necessary
  1. how far the project met the department's interests and objectives
  2. what lessons need to be learned for the future (things done well and areas that need to improve).

The relationship between the project sponsor and the rest of the project team is illustrated in OGC guidance as shown below:


Illustration reproduced with permission from OGC ref Project organisation: roles and responsibilities.

NB The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has now been absorbed into the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) within the Cabinet Office. OGC guidance has been archived, however, it is cited in the Government Construction Strategy and the Common Minimum Standards, and links are provided to OGC documents from government websites such as the Major Projects Authority. The OGC gateway review process still provides one of the best and most comprehensive sets of guidance for public projects. It is for this reason that the project plan for public projects within Designing Buildings Wiki follows the OGC gateway review process.

Improving Infrastructure Delivery: Project Initiation Routemap, Handbook, Version 2 June 2016, published by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, states: ‘The sponsor organisation secures the funding, owns the business case and is responsible for specifying the requirements to the client. The Sponsor ensures that the project remains strategically aligned and viable, and that benefits are on track to be realised. In some contexts the Sponsor and Client could be from the same organisation.’

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references


Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again