Project owner

From CEOpedia | Management online
Project owner
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Project owner is usually the head of the business, which is receiving the product and sharing business responsibilities for successful project implementation. Project owner might have to act like a "Grand Master" of the project. Project owner must have a project plan. Project owner has to be an enthusiastic person and always be positive about the project outcome, he also should be able to articulate the project's value and encourage people to buy his idea nevertheless. He is directly impacted by the results of the project.

Main requirements

There can be only one Project Owner to avoid divergence of opinions, and not to blur the sense of responsibility for several people. Main functions of project owner include:

  1. Making decisions on short - and long - term tasks;
  2. Taking responsibility;
  3. Managing team's performance.

He needs to deal with the definition of tasks for his subordinates, but he will not perform them. His duty is to support the team, answer their questions, or give valuable advice, but there should be no situation, when the Project Owner waits idly for group effects, or under the pressure of time, or the desire to get a high result becomes the main contractor of the project.

Work description

The most important characteristic of Project Owner are communication and negotiation skills, because the "champion" carries a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders, when it comes down to taking care of the final decision. Another crucial characteristic is decision making. Project Owner must have the ability to make decision on his own and prioritize tasks and when to decline or receive consequences of his own decision. Long - term planning skill is also useful. He has to be careful of consequences he might get in the future business plan. Being the most important in certain project and being a person, who divides the tasks you have to be an authority for fellow workers. Being a part of leadership you have to constantly develop your know skills and knowledge in case of being Project Owner.

Work relacions

Relationships with colleagues might occur in some problems. Inherent interest conflicts between a project management team and project owner are often neglected in project risk management. Risk management by the project management team basically focuses on project short - term survival, or project success toward handover to the customer, while for the project owner, strategic success should be more important. (Hans Petter Krane, 2012, 54-56)

Role in the team

Keeping word and deadlines is very important. This is how credibility is built and that way a trust can be gained. According to Pinto et al. (2009). Many scholars have emphasised the significance of trust as a “ facilitator of positive relationships among project stakeholders”. It is claimed that trusting each other improves a wide range of inter-organizational relationships, i.a. “project team dynamics, top management support, and coordination across functional departments”. Similarly, trust is claimed to better inter-organizational relationships among the most important parties involved in the project development, i.e. suppliers, contractors and the owner. The trust has been operationalized along Hartman dimensions and the perspectives of owners and project contractors have been compared. Using the methods of regression and path analysis, contractor – owner relationships have been analyzed. The conclusion is that for both owners and contractors the notion of trust means something different. (Jeffrey K. Pinto, Denis P. Slevin, Brent English, 2009, 638-648)


Author: Kamila Nawara