Congratulations! You just won a new assignment that involves a lot of responsibility in a high profile situation. You’ll probably be tempted to immediately apply the full spectrum of your skills and experiences, so that you can figure out the right path forward.
I’m going to assume that you are pretty near a genius. Your colleagues tell me that you are incredibly talented, and that you have insights that awe them. Nearly always, you are three steps ahead of everyone else.
Typically, I’d say, getting to know people is critical, and that it’s done best face to face.
But it’s not always possible.
We just accepted project management responsibility for a large global initiative in which everyone works both virtually and separately. No two people sit together and yet there are over a hundred people on the project.
Many (well okay, many, many) years ago at the start of the ‘redundancy revolution’… (note this is how I refer to the practice of making people redundant, which is most often dressed up as making roles redundant, but from the get-go was used to remove people whose face, for one reason or another, no longer fitted).
Imagine your boss gathers you and your colleagues in a room and starts to speak. “This is going to come as a shock, but our investors need to increase their profits so we are cutting everyone’s salary by 35%, effective immediately.”
17 years ago today RNC came into being. I didn’t wake up that morning and decide to start a company. In fact I had no idea I was going to do it until a meeting where I was blown sideways by inflexibility and (to my mind) unreasonable imposition. On the way home I thought about the meeting; it’s tone; content and the players. By the time I arrived, I’d decided to start a Really Nice Company (RNC).
To smash it as a project/program sponsor, you need to know the following and have answers to the questions below. You need to insist on being in charge. If you can do that, you’ll be well on the path to being the best sponsor you can be.