In the Project Charter, the constraints from the Project Sponsor's perspective are prioritized: Time, Budget and Quality/Scope. For constraints, think about behavior more than words. If you went in and asked your sponsor to attend a three day conference relevant to the project that would cost $3500 what would he/she say? If you asked for another month to complete the requirements, what would be said? Could you cut the scope and deliver a smaller piece well? This determines the priorities.
In this case, the project manager was doing his real job and throwing this project in to the mix. His time is the only cost and the company is paying it anyway. Adding time (working extra hours) won't cost the Project Sponsor anything more, just the project manager. There is not reason to believe that this project will get more money. Budget is the unmovable constraint. It doesn't appear that the Sponsor value's this project very much because nothing is moving aside to get it done especially the Sponsor's participation. That may indicate that Quality is the least important. Yikes. Maybe it's a project that shouldn't be done, and is just busy work.
Finally, time is likely in between cost and quality. There is a risk factor here - the powers that be may lose interest in this and jerk you on to something else that comes up. If that's their business choice, yay, they own the project. But be prepared mentally to get hit like this, have your documentation ready to be set down and picked up later so your time isn't a waste from your perspective.
If you'd like to grow your own real-world project management competence while getting work done on your real projects there's still time in 2013:
- Call us to schedule a workshop for your team. Start with the beginner program or try our new ASTD PM 3.0 Advanced workshop. 317-475-9311
- Attend an ASTD Project Management for Learning Professionals certificate program. Remaining workshops are in LA and Orlando.
- Attend the same ASTD Project Management for Learning Professionals online certificate program. Final session starts in October.