When most senior business analysts or project managers think of a sponsor, they immediately think of “the person who funds the project”. Funding is a vital function provided by the sponsor; however the most important resource that a sponsor needs if they are to be an effective sponsor is TIME.
Time has many facets: there’s taking the time to understand the project, the project manager and the challenges they face; and there’s having the time to fully grasp the risks that the project team and the customer will encounter through a change process.
Although other factors, such as holding the financial control for the project are very important, a sponsor without time to deal with the project won’t readily provide the finances that are needed anyway, in most cases. They simply won’t be as effective as they could be.
Conversely, the sponsor without financial control but who has time can work with the project manager to reach and obtain finances from the appropriate managers in the organisation.
In an ideal world, our sponsors would have the financial control, they would have control over portfolio prioritisation, management of the required resources, knowledge of the business processes being changed by the project, the ability to help direct scope for the project AND they would have TIME. Unfortunately, that does not happen often enough.
Does your project sponsor have time for your project? Should you be asking your sponsor to delegate to others who actually have the time so that they can assist with the project sponsorship and all that it entails?
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.