NEW! Courageous Sponsorship: How to Support and Influence Your Project Sponsor and Executive Stakeholders — Strategies for Success and Collaboration with Annie Sheehan

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to: 

  • Recognize the sponsor's business and leadership challenges alongside their sponsorship accountabilities, enabling project managers to provide informed support.
  • Use practical tools and techniques to effectively assist sponsors in navigating their roles.
  • Apply strategies for fostering positive working relationships with sponsors and senior stakeholders, enhancing collaboration and outcomes.


When project managers positively influence senior decision makers, obstacles vanish, projects thrive and careers flourish. 

Have you ever faced the frustrating challenge of leading a project with an abrasive, unskilled or absent sponsor? You are not alone. With project sponsors holding ultimate accountability for project outcomes, their expertise and engagement are critical for success. Shockingly, many sponsors are appointed with no training or experience in either projects or sponsorship, leading to project failures, which is terrible for the project manager.

Statistics from PMI, Gartner, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and KPMG reveal that poor project sponsorship contributes to 80% of project failures in organizations. Research from PMI and University of New South Wales underscores the importance of enhancing project sponsorship capability, offering the most impactful return on investment. 

This interactive training equips project managers with the tools to support and influence various project sponsor and senior stakeholder personality types, focusing on collaborative outcomes and a productive working relationship. We will explore the personas of the psychopathic peacock, the mean magpie, the avoidant ostrich, the diligent duck, the effective eagle and the wise owl, using real-world examples to demonstrate engagement and influencing strategies tailored to each persona.

Engage in interactive activities to reinforce and apply your newfound skills, including Q&A sessions, role-play and case studies.

By becoming trusted advisors, project managers can save time, money and headaches for everyone involved, ensuring project success and enhancing their value to any senior leader, team or organization.



  • Introduction:

    • What is a sponsor? Highlight the transformative benefits of effective project sponsorship.
    • Assess the current state of project sponsorship, identifying areas for improvement.

    Understanding the Project Environment:

    • Explore the purpose and execution of portfolios, programs and projects and their relationship to executing business strategy.
    • Clarify the role of project managers within project dynamics.

    Project Sponsor Duties and Expectations:

    • Identify various sponsor personas — the peacock, magpie, ostrich, duck, eagle and owl — and their essential leadership attributes. 
    • Define the specific roles and responsibilities inherent in project sponsorship.
    • Emphasize the critical relationship between project managers and sponsors.

    The Sponsor's Journey and Supporting Strategies:

    • Navigate the business and leadership challenges that sponsors face.
    • Adopt coaching stances to guide and support sponsors effectively.
    • Develop communication skills tailored to your sponsor's style.
    • Explore strategies for prioritization, decision-making and establishing behavioral agreements.
    • Foster a culture of constructive feedback to enhance collaboration and project outcomes.

PDU Allocation Table

The table below displays the number of professional development units (PDUs) awarded for each PMI® credential, as they align to the PMI Talent Triangle®. Power Skills and Business Acumen PDUs apply evenly across all credentials and Ways of Working PDUs apply only to specific credentials. PDUs will be added in full to all eligible credentials. *Please note that the asterisked row below applies to the PMI® Agile Certification Journey and includes Disciplined Agile® Scrum Master (DASM), Disciplined Agile® Senior Scrum Master (DASSM), Disciplined Agile® Coach (DAC), and Disciplined Agile® Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) certifications.
Ways of Working Power Skills Business Acumen Total
CAPM® / PMI-CP™ / PMP® / PgMP® 0 7 0 7.00
PMI-ACP® / Agile* 0 7 0 7.00
PMI-SP® 0 7 0 7.00
PMI-RMP® 0 7 0 7.00
PfMP® 0 7 0 7.00
PMI-PBA® 0 7 0 7.00
Ways of Working Power Skills Business Acument Talent Triangle



Annie Sheehan

Annie is a highly experienced project coach and trainer with a remarkable 25-year track record of successful global project deliveries in major multinational corporations. She is renowned for her ability to blend an agile mindset with established delivery practices, enabling her to produce value in manageable chunks using simple, repeatable processes. Her guiding principle is to "maximize life and stay sane." 

Annie's expertise in sponsor coaching, capability development, and enhancing project delivery methodologies has consistently empowered organizations to achieve outstanding results. Her active involvement with PMI since 2009, combined with her extensive experience as a past PMI Melbourne Chapter president, global region mentor, and Head of Client Engagement for Australia and New Zealand, underscores her deep commitment to the field. 

Notably, Annie is a certified project manager, PMP and CAPM trainer, agile coach, board director, and the successful author of two impactful business books: The Courageous Sponsor (June 2020) and Turning Ideas into Impact (February 2020), the latter achieving the status of a #1 Amazon bestseller.

Training Information

23 September 2024
Start Time
8:00 AM
1 Day


Member Price
(US$705.00 before 12 August)
Nonmember Price
(US$910.00 before 12 August)
Government Price
Student Price

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