If your project is sponsored by someone, it doesn’t mean that they are also engaged in this project. It is the responsibility of the project manager to make sure that the sponsor should be engaged in the project work. The sponsor is the support system of every single working on the project. So basically project sponsor is a step to success in a project.
Project managers are in a position to move communication in all directions of Organization grid. They can communicate vertically as well as horizontally with any direction. On same assumptions, we here present 5 ways to keep project sponsor engaged.
The very first and main point is to be trustworthy with the sponsor. It will attract a sponsor to engage in work more as it will know what actually is happening in the project. To create trust is not easy, you have to show some respect to them and their policies and act like your sponsor trusts in you. To create trust you have to keep some points in your mind.
- Deliver them your best and deliver what you promised. This will help Project Sponsor to trust you more and get comfortable with you.
- Consider committed timelines as promised and put your all efforts to achieve it. If anything going beyond commitment, then inform sponsor in advance with logical reasons.
- Show that you are responsible to ensure delivery of the project deliverable by taking lead in odd places as well.
Keep Sponsor Updated
Invite the project sponsor in the first meeting of the project and ask them for the reviews on the project and tell them your goals of the project. When the project work gets started, provide them the work report on the daily or monthly basis and try to make them participate in the work. The daily meetings will keep them engage in the work more. If you won’t update about ups and downs of the project to sponsor, they will think that the project will be done by you alone well so it will lead to the loss of engagement of sponsors.
Sponsor must know the objectives of the Project
The project sponsor doesn’t understand the language of the project management so instead of telling them about Gantt charts and management work, tell them about the motive of the project and about how the project will give benefits to them. The main reason for losing the engagement of project sponsor is to use the terminologies which the sponsor don’t understand so talk about the things which the sponsor try to understand. The main reason usually behind the sponsorship is of profit, just show your sponsors that they will be in profit if they work accordingly this will make them satisfy as mostly no one prefer loss over profit.
Be Flexible with Sponsor
Try to show some flexibility in communication and work as every project have a different sponsor and every sponsor works in a different way. The way of communication of every sponsor is different like some prefer to communicate through emails, some through official letters and some sponsors prefer to communicate through phone calls so you have to be flexible according to their needs and ways. Every sponsor have a different way to work so you have to response fast on their acts as there is a chance of losing the sponsor if you don’t show them some flexibility. This may be in communication or in dealing with things so try to work on the policies on which you and the sponsor both go in profit instead of loss as it is the main motive of projects usually.
Clearly Communicate your Problems
Don’t hide the problems you face in the project from the sponsor. This will not give any surprise to the sponsor. Tell the problems you face in the project to the sponsor and speak truth to them by going straight away to them. If you hid the problems from them and then they get to know the problem from someone else, it will create a negative mark and sponsor can deny the deal with you. So tell them everything before anyone else tells them. This also makes sponsors think that you are working on the project with all your best efforts, so basically it creates a positive image of yours in eyes of sponsor.
So these were some points which should be considered while dealing with the project sponsor. Some sponsors are tough enough that they ask for everything and make you frustrate in the work, to deal with them make them understand the project work and things which will work as a hindrance in the project. Make them clear with the main motives of the project and the profit and advantages they will get through it. Try to communicate in a positive way making them assure that you are working in the best possible way. The stronger the relationship you have with the sponsor, the easier it is to communicate with them and the easier it is to get what you need to get the project accomplished. Plus it is easier to understand what their requirements are and to have a conversation around expectations. Relationships are essential to project success. Let us know if you have any other tips to keep project sponsors engaged in following comments section or here.