Project Management

Tips for Better Sponsor Interactions

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

Your project sponsor, being an individual at a certain level in the organization, will not have a hard time finding urgent and important items to work on. There are strategy meetings, portfolio management meetings, end-of-year budget reduction/retention considerations, facing off with peers and more. How can you compete with that when you need help? In order to get your sponsor-dependent work items handled on time, you need sponsor interaction tactics.

Make Getting Assistance Easier by Setting the Stage Early
You know the issues at your workplace that present obstacles to completing a project on time, on budget and on schedule. Talk about them up front in your first conversations with the sponsor.

For example, you could say:

“Be ready to intervene when we socialize the final project schedule after requirements are over. That is when we usually see push-back from several groups that have resource constraints or who are less efficient in their engagements. At that point, it will be helpful for you to remind them of this project’s high priority. Communicating early will prevent delays and help save you time later.”

Make an Offer that is Difficult to Refuse
Your sponsor has now been warned, and--without knowing it--is more ready to help you when you make a request. Still, when you request an intervention, your sponsor is likely to see it at …

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"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

- Winston Churchill