Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions – Henry Mintzberg
Minimal engagement means only contacting the sponsor when absolutely required (e.g. to obtain a signature on a key project document). The rationale here is that the project sponsor is busy and will appreciate keeping engagement short and sweet. This approach can work. Ultimately, it only works in the short term.
Building a relationship with your project sponsor takes more work. This approach also yields greater results for your project (and your career). Consider the possibility that you will likely work with the same executive on a future project. The effort you put in to getting to know them will pay dividends in the future. You may also be the first one to hear about new project opportunities. Keep reading to find three simply ways to improve your project sponsor relationships.
Roman senator and author Marcus Cicero wrote,
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.
Until you take the time to understand a person’s history, your relationship will never grow.
Understanding a project sponsor’s history requires a combine of observation and well-crafted questions. I suggest starting with these three points to understand their history.
Who can arriving early make a difference to your project? It’s simple. Let me set the context by explaining what you lose by arriving late.
When you walk into the Thursday 2pm meeting at 2:05pm, several problems occur. Your project team is already seated and waiting for you to arrive.
Several minutes go by as you distribute papers (or tell everyone to open a document on a computer). More time is consumed by asking people to focus on work rather than the weekend. If your project sponsor is in the room, your wait arrival will be seen as a lack of respect.
Here are the benefits to arriving early.
By arriving five minutes early, you can turn on the projector and distribute papers for everyone. You’ll also have a few minutes to see if you left any critical documents in your office.
You will have time to open your PC, open your notebook to a fresh page and otherwise get yourself ready.
Relationships are built one step at a time. Getting to know the project sponsor is no different. I recommend starting small – sharing your weekend plans or mentioning what you like most about the project. Over the course of a six month project, fitting in a few minutes of small talk during each weekly meeting will go a long way toward building a relationship.
Your powers of observation are a key tool in building a stronger relationship with your project sponsor. By focusing your mind on a few questions, you can learn a great deal. Consider these questions and take notes about your project sponsor’s behaviour. I recommend keeping these notes in a paper notebook, rather than on your office computer.
What type of questions does the sponsor ask over and over? Do they show a focus on finances? An interest in customer experience?
Does the sponsor focus in the meeting? Are they looking at people when they speak? Are they looking at their smart phone? These behaviors signal the attention (or lack thereof) of the project sponsor.
Pingback: 52 Resources For Growing Project Managers: Round Up of 2014 Guest Posts - Project Management Hacks()
My week on Twitter 🎉: 5 Mentions, 2.01K Mention Reach, 6 Favorited, 4 Retweets, 6.82K Retweet Reach. See yours with sumall.com/performan… pic.twitter.com/SJ7t…
Lessons Learned – The effective Project Management - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/157yfee
4 Mistakes Virtual Managers Make That Stress Out Project Team - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1gHm74r
Speech Skills: How To Convince A Client To Buy Your Product - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2owu1JO
Types of PMO and the journey of maturity - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/Jn65Cf
5 Things New Project Managers Get Wrong (and How to Fix Them) - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1MnPqfV
7 Mind Maps for Self-Growth - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1TCNlPe
Agile Estimating Tool - Planning Poker using Fibonacci Sequence - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1kRC3Hv
Project Management Software: Web-Based to Improve Your Business - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2xwmnH2
Social Networking: the Productivity Booster - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/12VeJhc
Soft Skills Help Executives To Deliver Better Customer Services - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2ydxiW5
The latest The Program Manager's Paper! paper.li/SaverioLosi… Thanks to @BarryHodge @SusanneMadsen #pmot #projectmanagement
How to create value as a Leader - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2rDwn9J
The Strong PMO Model - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/21y4IBU
How project management software are useful for marketing teams - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/242fnpP
How to spot a failing project? The hidden indicators of a failing project - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1IVfOdh
8 Ways Mentoring Can Help in Your Career Development - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2cKtxNq
Why you need to brush up your negotiation skills - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1LBHMyd
Why projects fail (part two) - the matter of communication - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/W0WrWX
How to Manage a Remote Team Successfully - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2iRKvYS
My week on Twitter 🎉: 10 Mentions, 4K Mention Reach, 9 Favorited, 5 Retweets, 9.68K Retweet Reach. See yours with sumall.com/performan… pic.twitter.com/QO9q…
The right way to do an employee performance review - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2cAKLZ6
Efficiency Upgrades For Your Distribution Center - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2k7cWqq
Expert Talk on Mind Mapping for Project Management - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/13srSwR
Project Management for Web Designers - Road to Success - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1Yyyq9l
How to identify Stakeholders - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/12wGzSn
The Usage Of Social Media While Managing A Project - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/1myvURS
3 Killer Scheduling Mistakes - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/14sV3FJ
Scrum: 6 steps to be Agile - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/2x7BBx7
Big Data and Social Mining - via @SaverioLosito #pmot bit.ly/WYJf9K
Help the growth of this blog