In the Microsoft Operations Framework class I’m taking this week, we were talking about the MOF Risk Management Discipline and there was another quote that made me smile:
“If everyone owns it, no one owns it”
And there was another related quote that came up yesterday while talking about the MOF Process Model, which fits in very nicely:
“Every process needs an owner: One throat to choke!”
These two quotes really drive home the fact that on any project, on any team and in any process there is a real need for accountability and ownership. Not only does this help foster an environment of responsibility, it also helps define channels of communication between groups and members of groups.
It’s a big thing. When was the last time you were working on a project and asked “who’s responsible for this server?” and no one could get you the answer you needed? I’ll bet it hasn’t been too long.
Ownership is a core component to doing things right, because if no one owns something, no one will take care of it. If it’s not worth assigning an owner, it’s probably not worth doing, so you should question why you’re doing it in the first place.
Take a look at your teams and projects and processes. What do you own? Do other people on your team agree that you own it? Does management? Only you know the answers – or do you?
 Risk management discipline is not unique to MOF; it’s also a core part of MSF (the Microsoft Solutions Framework) and any well-run software, database and BI project. If you don’t use it, you really should.
 Or software, or resource or process or whatever.