Project Sponsors

Sponsors too often underestimate the importance of their role in determining the success or failure of a project.  Inspired by the Project management 'Control Tower' (See Links Page), We offer our ..


1. Encourage the belief that the implementation date is 'miles away' so there is no need to engender a sense of urgency yet.

2. Never read reports

3. If you can't get away with (2), then make sure not to respond within four weeks (or twice the time it took to compile the report - whichever is the longest).

4. Never dedicate your best staff to the project - give them whoever is free at the time.

5. Reviews, workshops and risk assessments are a burden you don't need. It is OK to accept the invitation, as long as you don't actually attend. 

6. If a Quality Assurance review is inevitable, ensure it is done by someone intimately involved with the project. That way, you don't waste time being asked questions he / she already knows the answer to!

7. Always delay QA reviews until after the project is completed.

8. If the going gets tough, you can always scrap training and / or documentation.

9.  Team morale is not a problem until more that 20% of project staff resign or leave through ill health. Anyway, it only takes a good ra-ra speech to sort them out. 

10. If all else fails, form another committee. This has the dual benefit of not only delaying any decision, but absolving you of any responsibility in the event that a decision should accidentally be made.

Does this sound like someone you know?  A poor sponsor can wreck what would otherwise be a viable project.  Bad practices as above may seem humorous, but in reality can cost millions of dollars. Remember, the sponsor often does not have the training or experience which can give him or her a grounding as to what is important.  Sponsors need to be educated as to their role. Even if it is the CEO, make sure that the sponsor understands what is required of them - preferably before they agree to take on the role.