What is a project champion, and does your next project need one?

What is a Project Champion?

When we are designing and fitting out workspaces for our clients we bring a lot of expertise to the table in terms of our skillsets in Consultancy, Design, Co-Ordination and Project Management. This is a lot of buy in to the success of a project from our side, but there is an important element which the client must provide and which is crucial to the success of a project; the Project Champion.

An unofficial title, the Project Champion is a role that is usually taken on organically rather than bestowed on a member of staff.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) puts it best:

“A champion is an individual who: identifies with a new development (whether or not he made it), using all the weapons at his command, against the funded resistance of the organization. He functions as an entrepreneur within the organization, and since he does not have official authority to take unnecessary risks … he puts his job in the organization (and often his standing…) on the line… He (has)great energy and capacity to invite and withstand disapproval.”


In a nutshell the Project Champion picks up the ball at a very early stage and displays great resilience, political astuteness and skill to deliver that ball over the line. Often the Champion will have to drag their teammates across the line with them, but they will always have the end goal in sight. As the PMI goes on to say; “People who are tenacious, committed champions are often a royal pain in the neck…They must be fostered and nurtured — even when it hurts.”

In our experience, Project Champions come in a variety of guises – and the identity of the champion can actually change during the duration of a project. Usually the Champion has some influence within a company (Manager or Director level) and has the inner strength to be able to make decisions which carry a degree of risk with them. A Champion will usually try to build a network of supporters who share their vision and passion for the project in order to bring a project through to a successful conclusion.

Essentially a conduit for information, the Project Champion will receive advice and recommendations from the project team and will use their skills to convince and persuade all team members, especially those who have the authority to keep a project running (budget holders) that the end goal must be achieved. The key attributes of a Project Champion include being a cheerleader, a politician, a risk-taker, an ambassador and above all they must have a visionary outlook – always focused on the end goal.

In short – every company who undertakes any type of project requires a Project Champion batting for the team and keeping the project on an even keel. Have a look around your organisation and those that are involved in any type of project – I guarantee if you look closely enough you will start to see a Project Champion or someone with the traits of a Project Champion emerge within the team.

Get in touch with our expert space specialists today for assistance on your next project:

+44 (0) 28 9442 5200 |


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