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The Unresponsive Project Sponsor – Part III

The meeting with the sponsor

Part I and Part II of our story.

The day of the meeting arrived! Abigail started the meeting by thanking Sarah for her time and for choosing her to work on the project. She let Sarah know that she was excited to be working with her on this initiative.

She then asked Sarah if it would be acceptable to let her know a bit about how she has worked with sponsors in the past. Sarah told her certainly, she was interested in learning more about how she might better support Abigail.

Abigail outlined what she believed she might need from Sarah as the project moved forward, including:

  • Assistance in “breaking through” any barriers that may arise

    Given there were a number of major initiatives in work at the company Abigail assumed she may come up to resistance or barriers at times to getting what was needed for this project to be a success. Of course, she told Sarah, she could work through many conflicts and issues on her own and with her team, but at times may need Sarah to “clear a few paths.”

  • Helping to secure resources (team members) for the project

    Although Abigail had already reached out and secured members for the team, she wanted to know she could rely on Sarah if, as the project progresses, other resources may be needed to meet the project’s goals. This was especially important given the other initiatives in progress that would, in many cases, rely on the same resources that Abigail was relying on.

  • Providing budget monies to ensure a successful initiative

    No budget was yet set for the project as Abigail had been instructed to determine the budget needed for the project. She had developed a rough estimate and wanted to ensure it was acceptable to Sarah, but also notified Sarah that it was subject to change as she further developed the project (and based on the additional information needed from Sarah.)

Abigail also noted that she would like to provide a status update to Sarah once a month in person. She didn’t expect the status meetings to be more than 30 minutes in duration.

Sarah was receptive to everything discussed and told Abigail she had no doubt the project would be a success. She did ask Abigail to be patient when trying to reach her as she traveled frequently and was working on a number of other strategic initiatives. As for the status update meeting, Sarah preferred an email once a month on the project status and would follow up with Abigail if she had any questions.

While an email status meeting was not preferred to Abigail, she was pleased overall with the meeting and thanked Sarah for her time. She felt comfortable and confident that she would have a good working relationship with Sarah and that she would have the support she needed for the project.

How do you engage your project sponsor?