"Who’s on first. What's on second. And I don’t know's on third!" For some, these three simple sentences, which begin with questioning words but don't end with question marks, will appear puzzling. To others, this nostalgic phrase will trigger a grin as they're reminded of the famous 1938 radio play by Abbott and Costello. Regardless of your reaction, these sentences represent a strikingly large gap in asset management, maintenance management, project management, program management, and other domains that leave practitioners feeling confused and infuriated. Who is the real sponsor of the work? What, exactly, is the sponsor supposed to do? And, do we know if the sponsor is the same as the asset manager? Guidance surrounding the role of a sponsor is rather dismal and unstructured while the amount of literature on roles such as maintenance planners, schedulers, reliability professionals, and project managers is overwhelming. Why does such a vacuum exist? This session will provide a framework for the duties of a sponsor and guidance to asset and maintenance practitioners on recognizing a good sponsor or surviving a bad one. We'll demonstrate why the sponsor is not only important for success, but also essential; how the sponsor can best support asset management and maintenance management professionals through asset lifecycles; and the skills and behaviours sponsors should exhibit to ensure the "right" work is being sanctioned.
Laura Kennett—P.Eng., PMP—knows who holds the power over the work: the sponsor! Currently the manager of Enbridge’s Liquids Pipelines Integrity Execution Program in Edmonton, Laura has been at the leading edge of sponsoring unique multimillion-dollar liquid pipeline projects throughout Canada and the United States. Over the past 20 years, she has lived in the shoes of operations, facility maintenance, and projects, and is acutely tuned to the role the sponsor holds. Laura has a Master’s in Engineering and Technology Management and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. She is certified in asset management from the Institute of Asset Management and is a Fellow with the Energy Futures Lab in Alberta. Laura has also worked in industrial plant maintenance in Alberta's oil sands Region and industrial maintenance and environmental operations in the steel industry in the Edmonton area. Her forte is in cross-departmental collaboration, and she works with groups that have varying degrees of expertise and maturity in asset and maintenance management. She understands how the key role of the sponsor can have a direct influence on the realization of benefits.