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What’s Up With the Project Sponsor? He is Doing Nothing!

A Mini Case Study


You are working on a global $200 million project that is development and roll out of a key product for the company. The project includes team members from around the globe and there are 15 key stakeholders you must communicate with on a regular basis. These stakeholders must also provide the requirements for the project. The project has been in progress for about 6 months but frankly not much has been done in that time. The key stakeholders cannot come to agreement on decisions that need to be made and rarely show up at status meetings. You have asked the project sponsor, Jason – SVP of Operations,  to help you in driving some decisions but he has been unresponsive. He travels frequently related to this project and just doesn’t have the time to commit to you. He has told you to figure it out.

The Current Situation

You are now at least 3 months behind in getting requirements finalized for the project. You have 8 of 15 key stakeholders who will not respond to your emails or phone calls to get together for a meeting so you still have not been able to get the group together. You have reached out to the project sponsor – but he is traveling and is unable to assist you right now. He has asked you to move ahead with those key stakeholders who are available and get what you need from them – forget the rest.

Your Dilemma

You are concerned because this is very risky – getting input only from 7 of the 15 key stakeholders means this project will not be successful. You must have input from the other 8 key stakeholders. When you mentioned this to the project sponsor he asked you what you wanted from him. He has assigned you to this project, approved the budget and is providing you resources (project team members and technology) you need along with approving a generous travel budget so the team can get together frequently. What else does he need to do because he isn’t sure you can handle this project anymore. He is frustrated.

And the questions to you…

  • What do you think is the main issue with the project sponsor and his support of you and this project?
  • How can you correct this situation? What conversation will you have with the project sponsor?

Please provide your ideas in the COMMENTS field below.

We’ll update you on how it was handled by the project manager in a future post.

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