The role of the sponsor in business change
Manwani, S. (2010) The role of the sponsor in business change. International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, 9 (12). pp. 167-176. ISSN 1447-9575
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Successful business change programmes require a holistic approach covering processes, people, information and technology. Yet many current IT-related initiatives rely heavily on a systems development lifecycle and too early use of structured project management methodologies. This is exacerbated by limited or unclear definitions of what constitutes success. The IT-enabled business change lifecycle has been developed as an antidote to this narrow view. It stresses the importance of alignment in fuzzy situations with a continued focus on benefits management throughout the lifecycle. This paper reports on business change in large enterprises describing the results of an exemplar case study using the IT-enabled change lifecycle. There are different challenges at each stage of the lifecycle with implications for the skills needed. The paper considers these stages from the perspective of the sponsor, a role which is often misunderstood, and assesses what is required for successful stewardship and leadership of change. It concludes with practical recommendations for sharing learning on success and failure throughout the enterprise.