This paper reports on an in-depth case study of a large and strategic IT development project facing business user disengagement and potential system rejection. Somewhat belatedly senior management recognised the threat and appointed a new project manager with a brief to rescue the project whilst keeping to the original implementation deadline. Much to almost everyone's surprise the new project manager, and his radical approach, produced the required significant results. The paper examines the changes instigated by the new project manager and a group of newly appointed Business Analysts (BAs). The approach, based on participation ideas, utilized an adapted state modelling technique, and was framed within the agile informed management approach, succeeded in achieving an emergence of business users’ belief and the feeling that they could not just influence the system but design it in a way that was needed by the business and that would support the current required workflows as well as for the future, which was somewhat uncertain. The detail of the approach is described and the way in which the disengagement and turnaround was achieved is provided. The paper concludes by outlining the contributions of the case and the approach and suggesting a relevance not only to the systems development and participation literature but potentially to the concept of systems ownership and Psychological Ownership (PO) which it could be argued were invoked in the case.