Within the context of Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, the term ‘Sponsor’ or ‘Project Sponsor’ refers to one of the roles within a (Lean) Six Sigma organization. This role is often assumed by the owner of a process in which a (Lean) Six Sigma project is undertaken or a business manager involved in it. The Sponsor is a role that is mainly concerned with project support.
The term ‘Project Sponsor’ is a general Project Management term, and does not originate from Lean or Six Sigma.
A Sponsor’s main role within the context of (Lean) Six Sigma is to support the (Lean) Six Sigma project which they are involved in, support the implementation and philosophy of (Lean) Six Sigma throughout the organization in general, to remove “road blocks” that Black Belts are experiencing in projects and to help project leaders determine the scope of their project. They are also involved in tollgate reviews, where they are expected to sign off on the project charter when a transition is made from one project phase to another (if the work has been properly executed).