How to effectively manage your boss?

Woman high-fiving with cat.

While working with project managers many times, I had the opportunity to talk about their relationships with their boss - the project sponsor. For many years, as a consultant, I have had direct contact with people who sponsor projects in the organization. I have the opportunity to play this role more and more often. Based on these experiences, I decided to prepare a series of texts on how to skillfully build effective relationships between the project manager and the sponsor.

As we know, a project manager is responsible for all aspects of his project. Also those relating to his relationship with the sponsor. We know that if the project is accompanied by a conscious, mature, committed sponsor, it is easier to overcome various obstacles that stand in the way of our project. Both those that come from outside our organization or from its external environment.

However, how can we gain and maintain the commitment of our sponsor in a situation when he is responsible for dozens of important decisions for our organization every day, often has a dozen or so projects in his portfolio, is perhaps still an important line director and is a person who is very difficult to reach? How to prepare a sponsor to actively support the project? How to convince him to regularly promote the project in the organization? How to "train" him to perform his role when he does not have time and the training market lacks typical products dedicated to sponsors?

I will try to answer these and other questions in the next episodes of my series "How to manage your own boss". Topics you can expect include:

  1. How to effectively plan cooperation with a sponsor on a project?
  2. What does it mean to be an effective sponsor and how to convince our boss to do so?
  3. How to recognize and understand my boss's management style?
  4. How to practice organizational politics effectively?
  5. How to stop saying "yes" when you want to say "no"?
  6. How to deal with a boss who doesn't have time for us?
  7. How to build authority based on fruitful cooperation with a sponsor?

I hope that these entries will spark a lot of discussion and that some of you will find them controversial. Great! I invite you to share your experiences. We will soon enable you to comment on our entries and I hope that this will enable an exchange of experiences and opinions that will develop and enrich us all. In the first entry in October, I will focus on the effective diagnosis of our boss. How to recognize his management style and build your success on it.

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