Claw back your time by introducing regular Project Sponsor Activities
Have you got even more on your plate being a Project Sponsor?
I am sure that one of your biggest concerns about being a Project Sponsor is that you won’t have time to do the role justice! That on top of your other obligations in your day job you now also have to do all these other activities which come with being a Project Sponsor. A natural reaction would be to put your head in the sand, wait until it is all over, try and cut corners, etc. Totally understandable. But let’s just take a few minutes to reflect, how committing to the role and introducing some specific regular Activities can actually save you time and project resources in the long run.
Project Sponsor tasks that have the potential for time saving in the long run
Let’s have a look at some Project Sponsor Activities throughout the lifecycle of a hypothetical project and how these Activities impact the project and you in your role in a positive way.
To kick off the project:
- Investing time upfront defining the project scope, deliverables and expected benefits. – This saves time in endless discussions in steering board meetings about the purpose and scope of the project. It also limits the danger of the project being pulled after significant investment.
- Agreeing the scope and therefore the financial investment and resource needed. Clarifying the project team and getting commitment to subject matter expert resource upfront. – It is important to clarify the expectations on time and effort with the people themselves. Avoids people being taken off the project at critical points in time and the need to bring maybe inadequate replacement resource up to speed.
- Regular status reporting, engagement of key stakeholders and managing upwards. – Progress is transparent, risks and issues are known, and escalation routes are in place in order to facilitate quick problem resolution and necessary decision making.
- Turning up to regular project meetings, asking relevant questions, being informed and involved. – Great motivation factor for the project team and gives your peers the message that you are serious about the change and this project is important. Gives you the chance to be informed and the opportunity to timely intervene when necessary, rather than only becoming active when there is a problem.
- Investing some time in the mentoring and development of the project manager and the project team. – Understanding how people work will enable you to delegate tasks appropriately. Also, looking after your people and developing them is a great motivator, they will thank you with hard work and dedication.
- Communication through formal and informal communication channels often in order to clarify the need for the project and the expected benefits. – Can remove the need to have uncomfortable conversations with some management or with resistant members of staff.
- Being clear of expectations and what the consequences are if they are not met. – Makes difficult conversations easier or avoids them to start with.
Any intersting Activities in there for you to integrate into your Project Sponsor repertoire?
How can you squeeze this all into your week?
Once a project is set up, you can fit regular Activities into 2 – 3 hours weekly to make a significant difference. Have a look at the image on the left: “A week in the life of a Project Sponsor”. This is an example of how 2 – 3 hours could be distributed throughout the week to make time for regular Project Sponsor Activities – during the delivery phase of a project.
This example shows how you could systematically schedule Project Sponsor Activities throughout the week during project delivery. My assumptions for this example are that you might have 2 regular ½ hour progress meetings with different audiences. In addition to that you can find 2 hours in your diary for focused project work, e.g. preparation, reading, visioning, thinking, issue removal etc.
You can use this concept to plan out some Activities for your week.
Over to you! Your task for today:
Reflect: What are the Project Sponsor Activities that you find useful and you know will save you time and project resources in the long run. Select one Activity to integrate into the way you carry out your role from today.
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This Blog article is part of my free E-mail Course “5 Powerful Strategies to become a more effective Project Sponsor”. If you are not already in, sign up for the free E-mail Course!