Project sponsors should be the light shining down from the heavens to enrich and empower projects to succeed. As such, there are traits that good sponsors should possess. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Raed Haddad describes these ideal project sponsors.
Reliable sponsors do lots of things as a matter of good sense. They articulate precisely how a given project connects back to organizational strategy, for instance, including the specific benefits that will be produced for individuals. They likewise think of projects as change initiatives, and as such will try to win over people who enjoy the old/current way of doing things.
A particularly noteworthy trait Haddad shares is that great sponsors will ask for a “range” approach to time and budget. This means for example that they will not ask for one hard number for budget, but instead a realistic range for a necessary project budget, accompanied by a list of major risks that come attached with every estimated cost. Additional specified funds can be set aside to address risks if they do occur. The point here is that nobody is twisting the truth or using wishful thinking to get agreement on numbers. Everyone is just being practical and honest.
Then there are some more basic but needed qualities that Haddad highlights. These include sponsors following through on their commitments, asking project managers questions that get at the heart of issues, and recognizing when project managers are being too optimistic. Haddad recommends this to sponsors who want to see credible and regular data and feedback on a project:
Gathering feedback from the project team including all stakeholders by using 360 degree online technology to ask questions in three areas—1) how is the project performing and is it serving its intended purpose; 2) are the processes, checkpoints and methodology being used; 3) what is the level of competency of the project manager and/or the project team—this is often critical from a client’s perspective.
Sponsors who do all of these things are truly a boon to the project. You can view the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/common-senior-executive-errors/