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Holding onto Project Sponsor Support
By Cora Systems

One of the secrets to project success is having a good project sponsor and a strong relationship between that project sponsor and the project manager. The relationship between any project manager and its sponsor is a partnership. Their strong partnership is embedded by their agreement to deliver the defined expected results. While the project manager is in charge of ensuring a project runs smoothly and communicating the requirements to the rest of the project team where necessary, the project sponsor is ultimately responsible for creating a sustainable environment for the project to operate successfully and deliver its benefits.

However, the relationship doesn’t always run smoothly and there may be times when it can become strained. Lack of support from the support’s side of the project tends to be one of the more common issues that can creep out of the woodwork. Having a tense relationship with your project sponsor can be difficult to manage, but a project manager needs to be able to deal with them. This is one of the reasons why it is important for a project manager to hold strong people skills. Holding onto your project sponsor support is important for the future of your project. Therefore, if the project sponsor isn’t showing the necessary support, the project manager needs to be proactive and get involved.

In order to avoid getting to this point, the following are some guidelines that you may want to take into consideration to help ensure a sponsor’s support of a project:

  • Have the sponsor involved in the process from the get go: This will ensure that they are willing to invest and provide support to your project.
  • Get to know your sponsor: What are their goals – what do they want to achieve.

  • Make sure you have matched the right project sponsor to the right project

  • Ensure the sponsor fully understands and is committed to their responsibilities: It is important to show the sponsor prior to the project getting underway, the points at which they will be involved in the project and the level of their involvement.

  • Establish from the offset an effective working partnership: It is essential that the project manager respects the project sponsor’s position within the project and the organisation and vice versa.

  • Agree a realistic schedule and budget at the beginning, as working with unrealistic schedules and budgets can compromise a project.

  • All reporting on the project should be disclosed to the sponsor and needs to be clear and honest.

  • Communication channels: During the project it is important to listen to your sponsor.

Project sponsors are expected to be the protectors of the project. Unfortunately this is sometimes not always the case. Lack of support from a sponsor can make a project more challenging. Dealing with a difficult project sponsor can be a unique challenge for a project manager. However a well skilled project manager should have the experience to deal with any issues before they have a chance to impact the project.

Established in 1999, with over 12 years of experience in Project Management Software, Cora Systems have developed a highly functional, web-based system. Our skills and knowledge have enabled us to become a world leader in Project, Portfolio and Performance Management Software. We value our extensive client base and provide a comprehensive range of services to ensure our customers gains the full value and benefits from using ProjectVision.

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