How to train your project sponsor
You might not be able choose someone to sponsor your project who meets all criteria – if you have the luxury to choose. You’ll most likely be assigned to someone and have to try your best to work together. Sponsors can also have many demands on their time, so your project may not be at the top of their priority list. You can be certain they won’t have the time or energy to learn if they don’t know what they need to do. It is your responsibility to help them understand what sponsoring means and what you expect of them.
Sponsor training is something that some organizations require all of their senior executives to attend. If your sponsor has not attended formal training in a while, or if you are unable to provide guidance, it is up to you to provide some guidance. It is usually best to introduce a sponsor at the beginning of a project. Ask them about their experience with sponsoring projects in the past. Be aware that senior managers might not be willing to share their knowledge. You can still approach it tactfully. “I know you have sponsored many projects before, but I just wanted to tell you how I see you as the project sponsor. Then we can discuss how we can best work together.”
Sponsors may also require training in technical aspects of the project. You will become more proficient in the details of the project as you work on it. However, you cannot expect your sponsor to be able to comprehend the jargon and the details. Make sure to present your project updates clearly, avoid using jargon, ask open questions to verify their understanding, and give them the chance to ask questions.
It is important to remember that your sponsor may not be able to perform their duties effectively. You should find out what they are capable of doing and tell them. Good luck!
This is the end of the article on project sponsors.