Realising project benefits in the public sector : project sponsor’s perspective

Opoku, Alex, Tallon, Alexander, Lok, Ka Leung, Chen, Charles X L and Umar, Tariq (2021) Realising project benefits in the public sector : project sponsor’s perspective. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Management, Procurement and Law, 174(1), pp. 7-13. ISSN (print) 1751-4304


Managing the realisation of project benefits in public sector organisations is fundamental in ensuring that value is added by projects and programmes. Project sponsors are charged with championing projects in organisations to create value in line with the organisational strategy. This study examines how the sponsor defines project benefits, aligns them with organisational strategy and ensures that they are delivered. The paper presents the results of a case study involving a major public sector organisation in the UK using qualitative data collection through interviews with 14 sponsors across the business. It also confirms that sponsors must be empowered and held accountable in order to create meaningful value for an organisation. No business organisation can survive without creating value for customers, and therefore project sponsorship is an essential function of organisations. The findings from this research will enable the case study organisation and similar public sector organisations to become a more ‘intelligent client’ and ensure that all investment is aligned with the wider organisational strategy. It contributes to knowledge in the broader research base by building a clearer understanding of how public sector organisations employ the sponsor function to ensure that projects align well with the business strategy.

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