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  • Mitigate risks


  • Decision-making
  • Problem resolution

In every change project, there’s someone who is ultimately responsible for the success of the project.  That may be a service delivery manager, a project manager, a program manager, or some other title, but there’s always someone who is ultimately responsible for making the project successful.  That may be you, if you’re being held accountable for success.

If you want to engage a success owner, it’s good to start with how you’re helping to address or mitigate a real risk to their ability to be successful with the project.  Since success owners are ultimately responsible for making the project work, they’re always concerned about the real risks to project success.

To prepare to engage the success owner, consider how you make sure that the risks you’re likely to be able to help address are properly cataloged in the project management risks.  This will provide a concrete connection between the concerns you have and the risks the success owner has already considered, making it easier to engage with them.

On the expectations side, success owners are often the ultimate decision-makers.  They’re typically given a wide degree of latitude for making the decisions necessary to keep the project running successfully.  For the decisions they can’t make on their own, they typically have priority access to the executives who can make the decisions.  To make the decision-making process easier, package up the options and consequences of the decision as clearly as possible.

The other expectation of success owners is that they’ll be focused on problem resolution.  Problems that aren’t resolved either are risks that become bigger over time – or will become project risks if not resolved.  With their focus on the success of the project, they’ll want to resolve problems as quickly as possible.