Please identify specifically the R&R of the PM vs. those of the Sponsor, and which regulation(s) you find those defined.
Summary: This answer will walk through relevant definitions, cite direct policy quotations relevant to the roles & responsibilities of the sponsor and the program manager (PM); and then provide the collaborative policy guidance that discusses how the roles work together. General guidance follows with specific examples of tasks each role is responsible for during the initiation and execution of a software acquisition pathway program.
- Sponsor: The individual that holds the authority and advocates for needed end user capabilities and associated resource commitments. (AAF Software Pathway Glossary)
-Program Manager (PM): Designated individual with responsibility for and authority to accomplish program objectives for development, production, and sustainment to meet the user's operational needs. The PM shall be accountable for credible cost, schedule, and performance reporting to the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA). (Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG))
Roles and Responsibilities as defined by the DoDI 5000.87 (Oct 2, 2020) and DODD 7045.14 (Jan 25, 2013):
- The planning phase will be guided by a draft capability needs statement (CNS) developed by the operational community. … The sponsor will approve the CNS before the execution phase starts. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para b.(1))
- Periodic review of the CNS should occur at least as often as each value assessment to determine if updates are warranted. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para b.(1)c.)
- The sponsor will oversee development of a draft CNS to support the initiation of a software acquisition and use of this pathway. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para c.(1))
- From DoDD 7045.14: The Heads of the DoD Components shall develop and execute the programs and budgets necessary to achieve national objectives in accordance with this Directive, and provide the day-to-day management of the resources under their control. (Enclosure 2, Sect 9)
- The PM will actively engage with the sponsor during the CNS development to ensure operational and technical feasibility. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para c.(1))
- Programs using the embedded path will align the CNS with the requirements documents of the system(s) the software will be embedded. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para c.(1))
- PMs will develop and execute an approved Acquisition Strategy, to include a constrained, tailored set of strategies to acquire, develop, and deliver the software capabilities, and will obtain the necessary resources (e.g., people, funding, technology) to effectively execute the strategies. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para b.(2))
- The PM will actively collaborate with program stakeholders and functional experts in developing the Acquisition Strategy given the current environment, priorities, risks, and approach. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para d.(2)a.)
- The sponsor and PM will develop a UA before the execution phase to gain commitment to continuous user involvement and assign decision-making authority for the development and delivery of software capability releases. Decisions include defining and prioritizing required capabilities, tradeoffs of software features and cadence, user acceptances, and readiness for operational deployment. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.2, para c.(4)a.)
- The PM and the sponsor will use an iterative, human-centered design process to define a minimum viable capability release (MVCR) if the MVP does not have sufficient capability or performance to deploy into operations. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.3, para b.(5))
- The sponsor and program office will develop and maintain a product roadmap to plan regular and iterative deliveries of software capabilities. The product owner and program office will also develop and maintain program backlogs that identify detailed user needs in prioritized lists. (DoDI 5000.87, S3.3, para b.(3))
The difference between the sponsor and the PM roles is analogous to the difference between the “what” and the “how” of the requirements & capability-development processes. While sponsor inputs on what requirements (at the major capability level) should be used to steer the program office’s activities and priorities; the process that defines how those requirements-based capabilities will be developed and integrated resides with the Program Manager.
Despite the allocation of funding and development responsibilities in the aforementioned policies, it should be emphasized that both the PM and sponsor need to perform their respective roles in a collaborative manner. Significant decisions made by the sponsor with respect to funding, resources or other user-related support should be made in concert with the PM’s involvement. Similarly, decisions about major capability changes, backlog re-prioritization, and cost-increases should occur with the involvement of the sponsor.
Key to the sponsor-PM relationship are the collaborative agreements and roadmap discussed above that delineate how decisions will be made during the development and delivery of software capabilities.
Lastly, service specific guidance further defines the roles and responsiblities of the sponsor and program manager and should be referenced as well.