A number of people have asked if we have hints or tips to help convince change sponsors to spend more time working with their teams. Being mindful that sponsor’s time is limited due to the responsibilities they have, there is a factor which we find gets the attention of sponsors who are “time poor” and struggling to keep all of their responsibilities in order. That factor is the time to budget ratio.
The time to budget ratio is simple and uses a single data point as an example. 30 minutes constitutes 1/80th of a 40-hour work week. Therefore, if the sponsor’s initiative will take up to 1/80th of their budget, then spending 30 minutes a week on the initiative is justified and is appropriate. If the initiative is greater than 1/80th of their budget, then more time may be appropriate. However, if the initiative takes up less than 1/80th of the sponsor’s overall budget, you may be dealing with a sponsor that is too high up in the organisational hierarchy. In this case, sponsorship responsibilities should probably be delegated to a person whose scope or budget would be more appropriate – that is, at least 1/80th of their budget, therefore being worth more of their attention.
Now, not all sponsors time allocation can be tied to budget; government managers often are not measured or guided by a budgetary factor. In this case, the element of scope can be applied, using the same ratio. If the initiative affects at least 1/80th of the scope or responsibilities they are expected to manage, then the 30 minutes a week ratio applies. If not, then sponsorship responsibilities should be delegated.
Is your sponsor’s time to budget ratio appropriate? Maybe a discussion or a re-evaluation of who should be your sponsor is in order.
Additional sponsorship management tips are available!
Intelligent Disobedience Leadership provides workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on courageous leadership through intelligent disobedience. We can help you and your teams design a community of practice which leverages constructive “intelligent disobedience.” For further information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.