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In Six Sigma, a project champion is an individual who has the authority to use resources within or outside an organization for completion of a given project. A project champion is chosen by the management so as to ensure supervision of a specific project right from its initiation phase to its execution phase.
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An individual who is identified as a project champion is generally declared while framing the Project Charter. A project champion acts as a single point of contact between the executives responsible in executing a project, including the project manager and the top management. The following are the key roles played by a project champion:
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- Sets benchmarks associated with a project and periodically reviews a project’s success in meeting the benchmarks set.
- Modifies the scope of a project based on its status.
- Grants or dismisses additional resources based on the modification of the scope.
- Monitors the changes in the project and acts as a guide to drive the execution of a project successfully.
- Helps in eliminating any obstacles which hamper a project’s success by conducting a risk assessment of a project.
- Ensures best practices are deployed by the team while executing a project.
- Makes decisions on prioritizing individual project phases so as to eliminate redundancies while executing a project.
- Makes a note of the best practices and focuses on obtaining continuous improvement while executing a project.
- Reports to the top management about the status of the project.
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Traits of a Good Project Champion
The top management of an organization may find the task of choosing a good project champion to be challenging. This is mainly because of the demanding nature of the job responsibilities that a project champion handles. Choosing the right project champion can determine the outcome of a project to a certain extent. Some of the traits that you should consider while choosing a Project Champion are as follows:
- He should be able to understand the management’s needs and relate it to the customer’s expectations.
- Be well versed with the technical aspects which are involved while executing a project.
- Should be inspirational to motivate the team and get the best out of them in terms of work performance.
- Should be able to achieve results with minimal or no errors while monitoring the entire execution phase of a project.
- Should have the ability to handle a large team and delegate the work by identifying the team’s areas of strengths.
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A project champion is usually an employee of the company belonging to the top managerial group. The chances of hiring a project champion on a contractual basis are minimal. In certain cases, the project manager takes up the role as champion if an appropriate individual to fill the position of project champion is not found.