In my travels in UX I’ve found that the word “own” really upsets people because what should be a RACI discussion feels like I’m grabbing a lollipop earned from the teacher right out of a person’s mouth (I’m not belittling the feeling; I think it’s 0ne we develop early when we feel like something we’ve ‘earned’ from a person/concept imbued with authority is being grabbed away unfairly) — I’m telling them “you’re not smart enough to make decisions” or maybe “your thoughts on this don’t matter as much as mine.”
Cue: ego flare-up and temper tantrum.
I have had to re-route my language to let people know what they are an expert in, by saying what I need them to help me with, how they contribute to the larger decisions that need to be made, but that I am relieving them of the burden of being “responsible” or “accountable” for how users want to interact with a product. Somehow this settles better, and truthfully, it’s what I really mean. Nowhere has this been more the case than working with Product Managers. Such a delicate balance. When it works, it’s magic.