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Questions to ask any project sponsor or management

May 6, 2008

Here are some questions the team leader might use to gain mutual understanding about leadership support, communication needs, and direction:

  1. What would customers and sponsors like to come out of this change initiative?

  2. How are expectations actually set? Who sets them?

  3. Are there pre-set assumptions about the solution? Are customers and the project sponsor open to different alternatives? Would they accept suggestions from the project team, or is this a top-driven solution?

  4. How has the organization handled change in the past?

  5. What are the desired timeframes for the project?

  6. Will the project sponsor or steering body be willing to pressure those who resist the final change? If not, how would they expect the project team to deal with this resistance? Describe types of resistance that might happen, and from whom.

  7. What resources can be spent on this initiative?

  8. Who should be involved in the project? Who should not?

  9. Is there any tolerance for degradation in service, support, or performance while the project is underway? Is there tolerance for reprioritizing other project initiatives to give this project priority?

  10. How will expected changes be communicated? By whom? How often? Who will be entrusted to relay the message and set the tone?

  11. What amount and mode of feedback do customers and sponsors desire on project status, significance, advanced warning, or detail level?

  12. What will make customers and sponsors anxious during the development/ implementation phase? How soon do they need to see positive change?

  13. Will IT continue the communication and reinforce support once the change is made?

  14. Is there anything else we need to know?

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