TURNING THINGS AROUND
Make sure that your project sponsor is current and engaged
Do a regular status meeting with your project sponsor and make sure that they know the status of the project, where there are problems, and what you need from them to keep the project moving forward. Make sure that they know enough about the project so that when you need them to make decisions you're not spending unnecessary time getting them up to speed on project basics.
Clarify your project sponsor's expectations
Identify the expectations of your project sponsor at the onset of the project to ensure that you're working towards a common end result and that project deliverables are in line with what your sponsor wants. Periodically validate the expectations to ensure that any changes in expectations are clearly communicated and understood between you and the project sponsor.
Right-size your time with your project sponsor
Chances are, your project sponsor has a long to-do list of things and does not want to feel like his or her time is being wasted. Determine with your sponsor the frequency, time and method of communications that you need and stick to it.
Tell your project sponsor explicitly what you need for the project to succeed
As discussed earlier, let your project sponsor know what you need him or her to do to ensure project success. Be as explicit as possible. But, make sure your requests are appropriate. Don't ask your sponsor to make decisions that others (or you) could be making.
Strongly consider stopping the project
If you aren't able to secure appropriate sponsor engagement, you should think strongly about stopping the project and refocusing resources on other projects that management cares about.