What Information Should You Share with Project Champions?

A broad range of people are required to take a project from inception to a successful conclusion. You, the project manager, are vital. Your team members are also important. Your stakeholders are of obvious importance as well. However, the project champion is perhaps the most important individual in the mix. In order to ensure that the champion can do his or her job correctly, you have to share information with him or her throughout the duration of the project. What information do you have to share, though?
The Champion’s Role
In order to fully understand the breadth and depth of information that you’ll need to share with the champion, you have to understand his or her role. Essentially, a champion is exactly what it sounds like. They’re your advocates, your supporters and your problem solvers (on a high level, of course). Often, champions are the people who first determine that there’s even a need for a specific project, and are integral parts of the planning and organization process. They can also play a role in forming your team.
Obstacles and Hurdles
Part of the champion’s responsibilities include helping you and your team overcome hurdles and obstacles that you’ll encounter. As such, you need to share information that pertains to those problems or potential problems. You need to alert your champion when you expect a problem to crop up, as well as when those problems are fully handled and no longer pose a threat. This information might be the quantity of components shipped versus what was ordered, or it might have to do with freight charges rising unexpectedly. Any data that pertains to a problem or potential problem must be shared immediately.
Help with Resistance
You’re going to meet resistance during your project. Many executives still aren’t completely sold on the idea that they even need projects or project managers. You don’t have to face that resistance alone, though. Part of your champion’s duties involve running interference for you between your team and the executives higher up the ladder. When you meet resistance, you need to alert your champion. Provide as much detail as possible, including what incited the issue. Your champion will then go to bat on your behalf.
Communication with Management
Within large organizations, champions take on the role of messengers. You might never have to deal with an executive or manager during your project (this is particularly true with very large firms). However, you will have to communicate with them. If you don’t know these people, your communication can easily go off track. This is where your champion comes in. They’ll take your message to the manager and vice versa, working as a go between.
You need to provide enough information that your champion can perform his or her various functions, but not so much that you drown them in needless details. When in doubt, sit down and work out with your champion what information they want delivered, when they want it and how they want it sent to them.

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