The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from a research project in Norway on the role of the project owner. The research was carried out in order to gain a better understanding of how project owners are handling their tasks, to identify areas for improvement and focus on challenges facing those being in this position. The research also studied which factors involving project owners could significantly improve project success.
Empirical studies of the current situation were carried out, aiming at getting a picture of common and best practice. Data on the current situation of project owners were first collected through a survey, giving representative results of all projects. Second, the project carried out in‐depth interviews with very experienced project owners and project managers. The second part of the research was based on the results from the current situation. It studied if changing negative aspects of project owner behaviour could improve project performance. A questionnaire survey was conducted.
The research was based on a certain perspective on the role of the project owner. It focused on the relationships between the base organization and the project and argued that the project owner should take an active role as they are responsible for establishing the project and securing the deliveries of the project to actually create vital changes to the receiving organization. The first survey showed that common practice was not living up to the author's perspective. Interviews with the most professional people showed that they were doing better than the average. The final survey showed that project success could be enhanced when the project owner takes an active part in the socialization activities of the project, directed by implemented project management work guidelines. Project success may also be strengthened by a project management governance structure consisting of close cooperation between project owner and project manager throughout all phases of project work.
The research should be followed up with similar studies in other countries.
There is a need to educate and train project owners to make them more aware of their roles and responsibilities.
The paper demonstrates the importance of focusing on the project owner. It shows that a more comprehensive understanding of the roles of the project owner would contribute to project success.
Andersen, E.S. (2012), "Illuminating the role of the project owner", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 67-85. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538371211192900Download as .RIS
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