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Our INSIGHT newsletters share seasoned advice and fresh insights about many project management topics. We invite you to spend some time learning more about how to make your projects a success.

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Go beyond strategy. Deliver results with Peritius.
January 2011

Dear Colleague:

Happy New Year! (I'm wondering how long into January I can use that.) Being from Chicago, January is often a long month to get through considering the cold, ice and snow. Yet being the optimist that I am, I see this as the start. A new year, a new plan, a new beginning.

 

Mug labeled 2011For Peritius Consulting, the new year brings settling into the name change as well as a new strategic plan and portfolio of projects to accomplish in 2011. This will be an exciting year for us. We also have some unique service offerings beginning this year that we will be announcing shortly.

 

In this month's issue, we focus on projects with "hands-off" or absentee sponsors. When you have project sponsors that aren't giving enough direction, we explore how to best manage the project.

 

If you have a strategic initiative that is challenged with some difficult sponsor or executive team issues, please give Peritius Consulting a call at 847-808-9999 or contact us at info@peritius.com.

 

Best regards,

 

Laura Dribin Werner
President & CEO
Peritius Consulting, Inc.

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Peritius
(per-it'-ee-us)

Derived from the Latin word peritus

more expert, skilled, experienced

On October 1, 2010, Integrated Systems Management became Peritius Consulting.


Working With a "Hands-Off" Sponsor

By Kimberlee Meyers

Senior Manager

 

Business meeting

Your project has been approved; you have the budget, the team and the time frame needed to successfully complete the project. You have the user team in place and a solid understanding of the project requirements.

 

What could go wrong? Suppose your sponsor has a fickle attention span.

 

Sponsors come in many forms ranging from the over-controlling to hands-off. As the project manager, I hope to have a sponsor that falls somewhere in the middle. Either way, project sponsors need to be managed just like all team members.

 

At any given time in a project, it may be necessary to change the scope, budget or timeframe. On occasion a sponsor will attempt to be overreaching and implement more than one of these changes at the same time. As the project manager, it is your job to pull the sponsor back into the heart of the project, assuring that they only approve a change that will impact one of these areas at a given time.

Uninterested or Over-Extended?
While a hands-off sponsor may seem to be an uninterested sponsor, they may very likely be simply over-extended. As a project manager, it your job to tell them what they need to know when they need to know it. They do not operate at the same level of specific knowledge about the project that you do, so keeping facts to an appropriate level of detail is crucial.

When faced with a hands-off sponsor, you should also lay the problem out, identifying the impact to each area (scope, budget or timeframe) with possible resolutions. Finally, make, and more importantly explain, your recommendation. Yes, tell them what to do and when to do it. Explain the impact to the project if a decision is delayed. And just as you would with a team member facing a tight deadline, circle back until you and the sponsor are in agreement.

Be Sure to Follow Up
All good project managers keep a sponsor well informed of the project status (i.e., missed deadlines, completed milestones), so do not forget to follow up with your sponsor, especially with the issues in which you specifically asked for your sponsor's input.

The project manager and the sponsor are a team; show them how that team works.


About Peritius

Peritius Consulting is a management consulting firm that helps its clients execute their strategic plans. For over 21 years, Peritius has helped its clients navigate from vision to reality, allowing them to realize their strategic ROI. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you deliver strategy in the most effective, cost-efficient manner.

www.peritius.com   |    info@peritius.com     |     847-808-9999

 

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