Kimberly Wiefling had an article today on Projects@Work (www.projectsatwork.com) giving us a taste of some hard-learned lessons when dealing with project sponsors.
I’ve always loved Kimberly’s sense of humor and highly recommend just about anything she’s written. This is a great example of education a la entertainment. Check out her book too, you can buy it from the PMStudent book store by clicking on the image to the left.
In short, her exploits yield the following lessons learned with regards to project sponsors:
- Don’t assume who has decision power. Be clear on who the real sponsor is.
- Don’t assume your sponsor wanted this project. If their boss mandated them to sponsor the project, it’s going to be tough. In Kimberly’s example, ideas for projects were generated by executives, and the CEO made the decision of what to implement. The ideas for improving one division came from a different division, etc. That means the sponsors were put in charge of a project they didn’t come up with….can you say sabotage?
- Don’t assume your sponsor knows what their role should be. Insist on coaching the sponsor and letting them know exactly what support the project will be asking from them.
Great article Kimberly!