Me – as a Sponsor

It had to happen.

30 years in the business of helping sponsors achieve their aims. 20 years of running RNC.

And then I wanted something done which:

  • We don’t have the internal resources or skills to do
  • Is time sensitive
  • Needs to be done in parallel with our everyday operations.

Ah, we need a project!

Ok, I’m the Sponsor – this should be fun.

Because I’ve been around the block a time or two as a PM there are some things I got right (yes I do say so myself)

  • Defined success – i.e. what will have happened when I’m happy with the outcome. I was very clear that I’d be able to………
  • Engaged someone to drive to the outcome
  • Approved resources
  • Involved myself in the planning.

And I got some things wrong

  • Forgot to get everyone to articulate their assumptions
  • Didn’t reiterate success in every conversation
  • Didn’t make it clear which decisions I was wanted to make and which could be made in the team.

Before long I was faced with something I rail against.

Someone on the project, supported by the PM, wanted to do something differently to what I wanted.

I took a deep breath and listened to the logic. I got it but still wanted it done my way.

Weeks later my way was delivered.

Oops they were right. I should have let them. But instead of getting mad I admitted my mistake, congratulated them for giving me what I wanted and, asked them to spend the time and resources to change it.

While I was a bit embarrassed I was still happy. The project is now a success – because I say so. The PM and the team felt safe because I owned the choices I made.

As the sponsor I don’t really care about the PM’s view of success or failure. In my opinion they succeeded because I got the capability I wanted and now I can do my thing.

I was so vividly reminded that it’s the owner/sponsor/client/wanter who needs to call the big shots. The PM was reminded that it if the owner/sponsor/client/wanter is happy the project is a success.

After all when the project is done it’s the ‘owner’ who, as a result, is able to…..