Rule 9: No Sponsor, No Start

Hell on Earth is to be a project manager without the bat, bag of money, and other executive support offered by an effective project sponsor.

This rule raises some very significant questions regarding professional behavior. The most significant is this: If the evidence is that a project without effective sponsorship will fail, why would a professional project manager start a project without effective sponsorship?

Typical answers to this question include:

  • When the project gets into trouble, the sponsor will emerge to sort it out.

  • This is not a big project so it doesn't matter.

  • The project manager can act as a project sponsor by default.

  • Our sponsors are always useless anyway.

These responses reflect the difficulty many organizations and project managers face in attempting to build effective sponsorship roles.

It is our group's belief that professional project managers ”like you ”must take some responsibility for changing this situation. Strategies include giving copies of this book to your senior managers, using this book as support, talking with your peers, consulting your internal audit or risk management group (if you have one), and educating and educating again.

Most likely, the organization that is placing you in this situation will already have a history of projects that failed because of poor project sponsorship. This should give you additional ammunition in this battle.


Your sponsor is your most important stakeholder.

Hopefully, these rules will assist you in avoiding having to decide whether you are masochistic or not.

Radical Project Management
Radical Project Management
ISBN: 0130094862
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 136
Authors: Rob Thomsett

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