Is your project sponsor making you angry?



By Yogi Schulz

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Project managers and teams suffer dysfunctional consequences when project sponsors shirk their roles. Projects flounder when sponsors are absent, hiding deliberately or unsure of their role.

Ideally, project managers collaborate with project sponsors and stakeholders to position projects for success, reduce risks, and mitigate the impact of the various issues that arise as projects proceed.

In reality, project sponsors let down their teams and put projects at risk in many ways. Here are the eight most common sins of project sponsorship and how project managers can politely and diplomatically correct the situations. As much as expressing anger is tempting, it’s never helpful.

You can explore these and other tips to help project sponsors and project managers be more effective in our new book, A Project Sponsor’s Warp-Speed Guide – Improving Project Performance. It’s available from Amazon at this link.

Sit on recommendations

The project sponsor refuses to act on project team recommendations to resolve issues. In some organizations, it’s better not to make a decision than risk being blamed for the wrong decision. On projects, delays waiting for a decision are always more expensive than correcting a decision that turned out to be wrong later.

Project managers address this problem through diplomatic coaching of the project sponsor and then proceed on an assumptive basis where the assumption is that the recommendation will be accepted eventually.

Project managers do not let the absence of a decision delay the project schedule.

Refuse coaching

When project managers try to make diplomatic suggestions about how the project sponsor could better fulfill their role and support the project, the project sponsor claims to be too busy or suggests the project manager can handle the issue independently…


To read entire article, click here

How to cite this article: Schulz, Y. (2024).  Is your project sponsor making you angry? PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/pmwj139-Mar2024-Schulz-is-your-project-sponsor-making-you-angry.pdf

About the Author

Yogi Schulz

Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Yogi Schulz has over 40 years of Information Technology experience in various industries. Yogi works extensively in the petroleum industry to select and implement financial, production revenue accounting, land & contracts and geotechnical systems. He manages projects that arise from changes in business requirements, from the need to leverage technology opportunities and from mergers. His specialties include IT strategy, web strategy and systems project management.

Mr. Schulz regularly speaks to industry groups and writes a regular column for IT World Canada and for Engineering.com. He has written for Microsoft.com and the Calgary Herald. His writing focuses on project management and IT developments of interest to management. Mr. Schulz served as a member of the Board of Directors of the PPDM Association for twenty years until 2015. Learn more at https://www.corvelle.com/. He can be contacted at yogischulz@corvelle.com

His new book, co-authored by Jocelyn Schulz Lapointe, is “A Project Sponsor’s Warp-Speed Guide: Improving Project Performance.”