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Engagement, Support, Sponsorship December 6, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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Any organizational endeavor requires some degree of involvement from leadership.  Without this, it is much more difficult to obtain buy-in from line managers, staff, and others who will actually be performing the work.

But it is not enough to simply engage leadership in conversation and notify them of the proposal.  Just because someone is aware of your project, it does not imply that they have been captivated and won over.  It takes much more effort to get over the hurdles when times are tough, money is tight, and people are happy just to have their jobs.

Nonetheless, as you move ahead with the project (it is a worthwhile project, with appropriate cost-benefit analysis, right?) it is critical to obtain support from corporate leaders.  Not just any support either.  Real, bona fide sponsorship — someone willing to step forward, defend the reasons for the project, and take on partial ownership of its success.

Like any business venture, there is an element of partnership inherent in this transaction.  There is also an element of politics.  That’s life.  Engineers cringe at the thought, but try selling some “equity” in your project to the proper levels of authority.  Without it, the endeavor may die a slow death, withering on the vine for lack of real passion from the people who write the checks.

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