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We wrote this book for you, the project sponsor, because we’ve observed projects floundering firsthand when the project sponsor is absent or unsure of their role. As project managers, we’ve suffered dysfunctional consequences when project sponsors are not fulfilling their roles.


We chose warp-speed for the title in recognition of the time constraints that are the reality of the lives of most executives. The value of completing the warp-speed project assessment below and taking action where needed is that it will help you:

  1. Fulfill your role as project sponsor more effectively.

  2. Identify areas where your intervention is critical to project success.

  3. Reduce the risk of a disappointing project outcome.

  4. Support your project manager and the team better.


You know you should know the status and risks of your project, but you don’t really feel like you do. You want your project to succeed. Your business depends on it. You don’t want project failure to damage your carefully nurtured reputation, your organization’s standing in the community, or its well-regarded brand. You also don’t want others in the organization to view your project as a boondoggle or a career-killing project.


As the project sponsor, you’ve listened to some presentations, seen some spreadsheets, received status reports, and discussed the project with your project manager. However, you aren’t confident that your project is moving forward as expected. Your nagging feeling is telling you that something definitely isn’t right.

To help you translate your vague, nagging feeling into a specific observation that you can act on to mitigate project issues, we designed the assessment to be quick and straightforward to complete. Completing it will reveal what topic is causing your nagging feeling of unease. As you read through the contrasting observations in the assessment, note which ones ring true to you. Then, implement the suggested actions for responding to the high-risk observation. We believe this warp-speed approach will focus your limited time on actions that will contribute the most to project success.


This book describes many observations that frequently occur in all projects. We’ve selected topics that are the most common sources of project success or failure. We’ve arranged these topics by their related PMBOK® Guide project phases.

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