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Chapter 4. Beginning-to-End Accountabili... > Nature of Systems Work and Accountab... - Pg. 35

Beginning-to-End Accountability 35 Single accountability in the minds of some is associated with the old command and control man- agement method. It should not be. Accountability is just as important as ever in today's team-ori- ented work. There is an important difference, however. Accountability belongs to every member of the team, not just to the managers. David Cleland describes the overall requirement: Whatever the team's objectives and goals, its culture should establish clear and understandable performance standards that make leaders and team members accountable for their work. Ambiguities in authority, responsibility, and accountability damage morale, allow things to fall between the cracks and allow political solutions to replace reasoned business solutions. Final accountability is a fundamental principle of sound enterprise management and must be designed into the team management philosophy. [5] The TPP offers a structure where empowerment with accountability can be established fairly for all involved. Participants throughout the entire cycle--senior managers, TPP initiative leaders, project owners, system architects, project managers, and development team members--must be willing to hold themselves accountable, which means taking full responsibility for the effects of their actions. Fairness makes accountability work. Self-defensive actions can result from viewing accountability as a way to associate potential prob- lems with a person, hoping that this will motivate that person to avoid trouble. Although accountability is necessary as a fail-safe action, its real benefit comes from the personal commitment and align- ment with TPP initiative goals and objectives it can produce. At its best, accountability promotes creative solutions to issues and problems that arise during transformational project work. When established fairly and logically , accountability becomes a force for progress, not simply a defense against failure. A management reporting system that shows project cost and schedule performance, forecasts per- sonnel loading, and describes issues and problems is essential to support beginning-to-end ac- countability from the TPP initiative definition through final cutover of the related systems. The man- agement reporting system will be discussed in Chapter 6.