Everyone wants to know they’re supported. That goes for program managers too! For them, that person is usually the executive sponsor. Ideally a program will have one single executive sponsor, one “throat to choke” as the saying goes. I have run programs with co-sponsors, and if they communicate well and are closely aligned, this can work too. But what happens if there’s no executive sponsor? First, this should sound an alarm bell. A program can’t go forward without an executive sponsor who has been assigned responsibility for the effort. You should reach out to leadership to ask where the requirement for this program came from. What’s the strategic level goal this program is related to? If there’s no answer, then it’s unlikely this work should be prioritized. Go as high up as you need to until a sponsor is assigned. If you have to, pause the work and let your manager and the leader of the organization you support know that you can’t continue until you have an executive partner — or until you determine that the program isn’t strategically important and should be set aside.