Define and align owners involvement (estimate, practical, role)

Starting a project is easy but to overcome all the obstacles, to keep the focus and be truly committed from start to finish is significantly more challenging. Even though the owners that started a project and want the result from the project should be highly committed, there are many reasons why reality becomes different.

  • The project demands more focus and effort than expected
  • The project does not deliver the results that owners expect
  • Other priorities are becoming more important
  • The project is inherited from other parties and is not the owner’s own heart blood
  • Owners are losing control of projects


Since a strong and committed sponsor and ownership is one of the key prerequisites for project success, it may be a severe risk if the commitment and support is not established or lost. Projects may run well for a while but eventually, most projects will be harmed if they are exposed to the risk.


Align with owners how they shall be involved

There may a huge difference in the way owners wants to be involved in a project. The key in succeeding in building support and commitment is to understand them through questions like:

  • What is your interest in the project?
  • How do you want to be involved?
  • What type of information do you expect to receive?
  • When do you expect to be involved?
  • How can you help the project?
  • Are you willing to be involved in key activities (e.g., kick-offs, contract negotiations, steering committee)?


Communication to owners

Projects often require mastering many details regarding scope, plans, technology, stakeholders. This often results in lengthy status reports and descriptions. When communicating to project owners, it might be important to consider the receiver’s priorities, time and ability to understand the information they receive. To maintain owners interest and to utilize their time:


  • Translate project language into executive language
  • Clarify what type of information the project owner wants
  • Be quantitative and concise (short and precise information targeted to the ownership)
  • Prepare the “elevator speech” where a brief and clear status can be delivered in 30 seconds
  • Do not bother project owners with details of problems that are to be solved in the project
  • Be proactive on problems (inform as early as possible when you want to inform about a problem)
  • Be precise when you want response (are you asking for advice, a decision, help to solve a problem)



Communicate frequently to ensure that the project owners are involved .This is giving project owners a chance to follow what is going on and to actually take responsibility. If information is only provided when things have gone wrong, it may be too late for project owners to get involved.