Project Management

12 Guidelines to Build a Sustainable Sponsor/PM Partnership

Lonnie Pacelli is an Accenture/Microsoft veteran with four decades of learnings under his belt. He frequently writes and speaks on leadership, project management, work/life balance, and disability inclusion. Reach him at [email protected] and see more at

“He wants us to do what?”

Jana, the project manager, just finished her one-on-one with Dean, the executive project sponsor on her project. Jana is debriefing Anil, the engineering lead, on their conversation.

“Here’s the list of change requests he wants.” Jana handed the list to Anil.

“Does he realize we’re almost done with development?” Anil asked.

“I tried to explain that to him; he wasn’t having any of it.”

Anil rubbed his forehead. “This is going to set us back at least a month. Does he know that?”

“I told him. He gave me the ‘Give it the college try’ line. No schedule relief, no additional money.”

“I’m already pushing the team to their max,” Anil said. “We can’t take this on and keep things on schedule. On another topic, do you have a decision on the blocking issue yet?”

“I brought it up again with him; he told me he’d have a decision on Friday. I’m frustrated because I’ve heard that same line for the last three weeks.”

“I’ll see what we can do, but no guarantees,” Anil said as he went to talk with his engineering team.

“Dean is killing me,” Jana said to herself as she sat at her desk.

*** *** ***

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