the sponsor had little trust in me or my team. That
made getting the information required to solve the
We were sincere with the sponsor and exposed
every limitation that prevented us from coming up
with a concrete solution. After this, with transparency as a core value, we demonstrated our clear commitment to doing our best to achieve the objective.
By involving the sponsor, we managed to understand
each other and work toward a common goal.
With a transparent approach, this new paradigm
seeks the sponsor’s active participation, raising his or
her level of involvement based on trust and a clear
focus on results.”
—Javier Mauricio Sánchez Londoño, PMP, senior
development manager, ARSHumano, Santo Domingo,
Adjust Your Style
Every project sponsor wants to feel like he or
she is your only client. There may be times
when adapting and modifying your personal
style is necessary once you become aware of the effect you
have on other people, while still being true to yourself.
I adopted this approach while working with a high-en-ergy, somewhat demanding, spontaneous project sponsor. After observing his tendencies and behavior over a
period of time, I noticed he enjoyed leading conversations and being in the spotlight. I adjusted my leadership style to allow him the opportunity to contribute in
a manner that validated his participation. This created
a direct line of communication where we regularly exchanged phone conversations, candidly shared concerns
and negotiated solutions. He brought an element of fun
to the project with his vibrant personality and we shared
many laughs, which made the process enjoyable.
Being attentive can help foster a fruitful relationship
with the project sponsor. This was also true on another
implementation. Through lunches, dinners and casual
conversations, I developed a strong working relationship
with a sponsor. I got to know her and her family personally. After the project ended, she shared the following
sentiment with our organization: ‘It’s a rare treat to
implement a new system and realize one of the greatest
benefits gained are life-long friends.’ ”
—Yolonda A. Swain, PMP, engagement leader, Automatic
Data Processing, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
3 Reasons to Increase Sponsor Engagement
There’s more than one good reason to keep an executive sponsor interested in a
project, according to the Pulse of the Profession® In-Depth Report: Executive Sponsor Engagement—Top Driver of Project and Program Success:
How have you built
a strong relationship
with a project sponsor?
Share your tips and
tricks on the PMI
Project, Program and
1 in 3
projects fails to
meet goals due to
Fewer than two-
thirds of projects
and programs have
is more important
today than it was
five to 10 years ago.
Find out more about how executive sponsors can take projects from not-so-stellar to noteworthy by visiting PMI.org/sponsor-engagement.