The Care and Feeding of Executive Sponsors

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Josh Nankivel 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #151666

    Bill Brantley

    As many project management studies verify, having an active and involved executive sponsor greatly increases your project’s success. So, what are some techniques and methods you use to keep your executive sponsor involved with your project, happy with the progress, and from wandering away as the project work continues?

  • #151674

    Josh Nankivel

    Demos! If you are following a Lean or Agile development approach (even with non-software projects) you should be able to demonstrate the value produced for the sponsor and customers and get feedback immediately. When the customers/end users go to my sponsor to say they really enjoy the demos and being involved actively in the project, it makes everyone happy.

  • #151672

    Peggy Wright

    This is so true — while the senior execs are actively involved in the development and implementation of an effort it thrives. Once they move on to the next “big project,” interest and support naturally diminishes. Staying in front of the execs, informing, requesting their help where a word or nod will help out carries a lot of weight.

  • #151670

    Steve Ressler

    Couple ideas:

    -weekly updates of status

    -get one of their peers excited about their project so they are hearing about it from another source

    -show quick ones…dont wait till end to show results…show quick progress, screenshots, etc

    -show examples of other agencies and others working on similar show that this is bigger trend

  • #151668

    Jo Youngblood

    -Communicate regularly – weekly, every two weeks, monthly; each sponsor has their own interval preference. I’m also sure to follow-up regularly on a request even if I don’t have a resolution yet. This just lets them know that I haven’t forgotten about their request and I’m still working on getting the information or resolution they need.

    – Be excited about my work myself. Enthusiasm spreads. If you’re excited about what you’re doing, they’ll buy in that you should be the person on this project and quite often they will find themselves becoming more excited about the project (which is the best kind of advocate you can have).

    – Don’t forget to add the appropriate personal touch. Find out what their favorite lunch spot is and have your weekly meetings there. Ask how the kids/pets are or about their most recent vacation. Establishing that somewhat personal level strengthens the relationship of communication – They wont hesitate to pick up the phone and call you about something because they feel comfortable with you. But be sure to keep it on a professional level. It’s not an appropriate place for you to gripe about workplace or personal issues.

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