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Review Project Audit Results


Key Question: Does the project sponsor have the authority, political clout and willingness to use them for this type of project?

"If your project manager has the right stuff, the next place you need to look for problems is your project sponsor. Runaway projects sometimes have project sponsors that are not qualified to be in that position. Sometimes they are put in this role to just fill a funding requirement to name a project sponsor, but they are absentee sponsors. In other cases, they are thrust into the position because the initial project sponsor is too busy or has moved on to another initiative. If you're having trouble with your project sponsor, it is probably because that person lacks the authority or political clout to effectively get things done from the business perspective, or is unwilling to use the necessary authority and clout."

"You have two choices when dealing with an ineffective project sponsor - shore up that person's authority or replace that person with someone who has the authority and clout. The first alternative is usually more difficult to do, but it usually achieves better results. However, do not use this alternative if your current project sponsor carries a very negative reputation that would require too much effort to repair, detracting from the goal of getting the project back on track. If it's a case of authority, get it for that person. If it's a case of judgment, replace the project sponsor."

"Finding a project sponsor replacement will let you know exactly how important the project is to your company. If you are struggling to get a replacement and you are not getting senior management support, you can deduce that successful completion of your project is not high on the company priority list. This should weigh heavily as you decide to continue on or permanently stop the project. If your company decides to continue, insist the project sponsor has the ultimate authority to approve all project-related deliverables and expenses."


The above is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street, 10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20 years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in rescuing ailing projects.