One of the most important relationships a project manager can build is the one with the project sponsor and it is one that project managers often find challenging to build and maintain.
The best way to foster a positive relationship is to establish trust. To achieve trust, you should: communicate openly and honestly, be flexible with change, demonstrate different viable approaches or options to problem resolution and respect commitments and promises.
In order to establish trust, it is helpful to know why a sponsor does what he or she does, and what sponsors might be unable to do. Understand Your Sponsor’s Motivations, Expectations and Constraints.
There are six things you might consider doing with your project sponsor or boss to understand his or her motivations. They are:
- Figure out what’s important to them and drives their success
- Talk to them in their language about what’s important to them
- Focus on helping them be successful
- Connect your project objectives to their objectives
- Stay constantly connected to them and keep them up to date
- Deliver bad news in person and have a solution to addressing problems