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Four Key Ways to Disengage Overly-Involved Project Sponsors

Four Key Ways to Disengage Overly-Involved Project SponsorsThere are times when we need to disengage a project sponsor who is overly involved in the day-to-day work of the project team. We want them engaged in the project, certainly; but not so involved in the tasks associated with the project that the team feels they can’t get the work done. Much of time a sponsor is overly involved because he may feel like he does not know enough about what is going on or may be sponsoring his first large initiative and wants to be sure it is a success. The four ways listed below have been effective when I have needed to disengage an overly involved project sponsor. But first – sit with the sponsor and understand why they feel they need to be involved in the project. Once you have that determined, one or more of these methods may help you to keep them a bit distanced from the team so they can get the work of the project done.

Here are four ways to disengage an overly-involved project sponsor:

  1. Schedule a weekly meeting with the sponsor to update them on the project – in detail.
  2. Invite them to problem solving sessions so that they may participate.
  3. Early in the project, invite them to risk identification and risk planning sessions.
  4. Share with them the processes, procedures and best practices you use to lead projects so they see you are organized and process-driven and are focused on project success.

What have you found successful in disengaging a sponsor who is overly involved in the day-to-day activities of the team?