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Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 332: Project Sponsor Challenges and Solutions (Free)

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Todd Williams
Todd C. Williams - President and CEO at eCameron, Inc

What is the definition of the project sponsor role?

If you have an executive sponsor on your project and you have a documented and agreed upon project sponsor definition, then you are exceptional.

Why? According to Todd Williams’ (eCameron, Inc) latest white paper titled “Challenges in Executive Project Sponsorship” the lack of project sponsor roles and responsibilities is a major issue. It’s right up there with a lack of engagement, missing change management and the fact that executives don’t even acknowledge that these challenges exist to name just a few.

This executive sponsorship white paper is at the core of our discussion. Todd and I will review the identified challenges and give you the solutions he proposes. You’ll even get his definition of the role of project sponsor.

Here is a time-limited offer for all PM Podcast listeners who would like to read the white paper we discuss:

Download the white paper for free

Todd is making the white paper available for free to listeners of The PM Podcast:

  • Visit the white paper sales page
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  • Fill in the registration form + click Next
  • Apply the coupon code pmpodcast and the price now changes to $0
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This offer expires on October 31, 2015.

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #332. This is the Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I'm Cornelius Fichtner. Hi there!

What is the definition of the project sponsor role? If you have an executive sponsor on your project and you have a documented and agreed upon project sponsor definition then you are exceptional.

Are you PMP certified and want to earn 37 PDUs quickly and for less than $5 per PDU? No problem with The Agile PrepCast™. It not only prepares you for the PMI-ACP® Exam but also qualifies for a ton of PMP® PDUs. Visit www.agileprepcast.com/pdu for the details.

So why are you exceptional? Well according to Todd Williams' latest white paper: "Challenges in Executive Sponsorship": The lack of project sponsor roles and responsibilities is a major issue. It's right up there with lack of engagement, missing change management and the fact that executives don’t even acknowledge that these challenges exist to name just a few.

This executive sponsorship white paper is at the core of our discussion. Todd and I will review the identified challenges and give you the solutions he proposes. You'll even get his definition of the role of the project sponsor. But most importantly, Todd is making this project sponsorship white paper available to you for free. The paper normally costs around $15 but if you use our discount coupon then you'll get it for free. So please visit www.pm-podcast.com and look for Episode #332 to find the link and the coupon code. The coupon code expires at the end of October 2015. So hurry up or you'll have to pay the full price after that.

And now let's all define project sponsor and please enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Todd Williams, expert witness, executive consultant and President of eCameron.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello, Todd. Welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™!

Todd Williams: Oh thank you for having me back. It's not just me coming here. It's you inviting me and I'm just totally honored to be on here again.

Cornelius Fichtner: So we want to talk about challenges and executive project sponsorship today. What can our listeners expect to get out of this discussion?

Todd Williams: Well I think that what we need to take a look at in project management is where some of these holes are that are still creating problems and getting it so that projects don’t execute correctly and the two areas that I think we've landed on here is looking at sponsorship and change management and those two items.

So we are really trying to focus on one of those two major holes of what is a sponsor, what are they supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it? And if there's no one out there in your PM audience that doesn’t agree with this next statement, I will be totally shocked, and that is I think that every single project manager will say about sponsorship is my sponsors not engaged.

What does that mean? How do we solve that and how can we work that at our level or do we have to go up a higher level and actually get that to work at a higher level?

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! The discussion is based on your white paper. You did some research for that. Why did you this research into sponsorship in the first place? What was the initiator here?

Todd Williams: So we had a very reputable medical organization which I really shouldn’t name out of the Midwest get a hold of us and say: "We need some training in executive sponsorship." And I went: "Whoa! You guys have a big name and you need training and executive sponsorship. Is this something that is just in the healthcare industry or am I missing something else somewhere else?"

So we went out and we interviewed all slew of different healthcare organizations primarily hospitals if they had a research around that was great but we did a small as 100-bed hospital, community hospital up to a large, very reputable medical research facility, clinic hospital that we had contacts in. We started interviewing those people. We started seeing that there were some really serious problems and they manifested, kind of weirdly and there were some really enticing juicy little pieces in there which I'm not going to dive on it right now.

So I had to expand it and I went outside the healthcare industry and I started talking to people and other industries and realize that it was a bigger piece of problem that I didn’t fully understand. So as I did my research, I went: "Wait a minute. I just can't keep this to myself. I have to go and publish this in some sort of white paper." So people understand what these challenges are and then hopefully soon, we'll actually have another white paper out that's going to talk about how to solve some of those problems.

Cornelius Fichtner: I know from reading the paper that one of the problems is actually the definition of sponsorship, the role of sponsorship is lacking. But to bring us all on the same page here, can you give us your definition? What is a sponsor? What does a sponsor do on a project?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

Tags: PDUs: Leadership, Project Sponsorship, White Paper

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