The Power of Ownership

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Ownership of even a part of a project is a powerful thing. Ownership is tangible and allows for acknowledgment, achievement and recognition. Once a part of a project is owned, it can also be reported on and tracked, making it visible to other project stakeholders and team members.

No matter what goes on in the organization, a task that is owned is a task that will have more chances of completion, with pride and focus on outstanding performance. As such, the task tends to be delivered on time, within scope and budget.

Micromanagement does not have to exist when ownership is present and the team agrees to the game plan. Instead, there is clear and visible status reporting with team members eager to present their progress -- good or bad. This transparency allows the team to focus on the right solution and approach, with a clearer view of the roadblocks and their resolution.

Defenses tend to come down as we focus on delivery: doing what we are expected to do and doing what we know we can and should do to deliver quality results. When ownership is truly present, team members exchange workable ideas in a productive discourse. We're open to see our own blind spots, areas that we naturally overlook or don't think to question.

And when the realization of the specific blind spot is a reality, it creates a clearing for something new. 
Posted by Dmitri Ivanenko PMP ITIL on: August 31, 2010 06:55 PM | Permalink


Your first statement says it all really, and I agree wholeheartedly. Thank you for providing the opposite condition of 'ownership' as being 'micromanagement.' That's an excellent way to define ownership; for some people the idea is new. I receive great benefits by having project team members take ownership and move forward with their deliverables. It really does add to the meaning of team and getting more than the sum of the individual parts.
Couldn't agree more on this. And it's an art to empower people to let them understand their ownership in their task :)

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I see where one young boy has just passed 500 hours sitting in a treetop. There is a good deal of discussion as to what to do with a civilization that produces prodigies like that. Wouldn't it be a good idea to take his ladder away from him and leave him up there?

- Will Rogers



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