Project Sponsor: Challenges and Solutions

Adriana Girdler

Most common challenges of working with a project sponsor, and what to do about them Are you having challenges with your project sponsor and don’t …

Most common challenges of working with a project sponsor, and what to do about them

Are you having challenges with your project sponsor and don’t know what to do about it? Unfortunately, this is all too common.

The good news is that there are simple ways you can make your life easier when it comes to working with your project sponsor – you just need some clues on how to go about it.

So, what are those challenges and solutions?

Challenge 1: Your sponsor is not invested in the project

It is extremely frustrating when your sponsor is not invested in what you’re doing, and they’re the one who is supposed to be your cheerleader, but they’re just not interested.

This might be because they’re just begrudgingly going along with the project. Whatever the reason might be for that, unfortunately, you can’t change how they feel about the project. But there are some things you can do to help get past this hump.

Solution 1: Set expectations

The solution to this first challenge is to lay out their roles, responsibilities, and expectations.

You would do this in the initiation stage of the project when you’re introduced to your sponsor and the project. This is why following the stages of project management is so important!

Pay special attention to the scope statement. This is not only where you get clarity as to what you’re supposed to be doing, but it also gives you clarity for the roles and responsibilities of your sponsor. This is the perfect opportunity to start asking those questions at the beginning so that you have it with you throughout the project.

Once you have those roles, responsibilities, and expectations laid out from the beginning, it becomes easier to bring this up with the sponsor at any point in the project when you notice they’re not invested or not interested in the project.

Simply have a 1:1 meeting with them and review the responsibilities and expectations that were agreed to. This is an incredibly reliable way to help them realize that there are expectations they need to fulfill, and will give them a wake up call to get back on track with what they need to do for the project.

More challenges and solutions

I’ve already spent lots of time here breaking down challenge #1 and its solution, but there are several other challenges that come up often with project sponsors.

If you want to make sure you know how to handle these issues, head over to YouTube with me and watch my latest video where I break down more challenges and solutions so that you have a seamless and supportive experience with your project sponsors.

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.

Adriana Girdler, PMP | Creator of Slay Project Management

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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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