Accountability and Project Management Process


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Two levels of accountability are critical to establishing a culture of clarity that fulfills project management initiatives with repeated successes. The first level is having someone who is accountable for the establishment and improvement of and compliance with the project management process itself.

In some companies, one individual defines project management processes. This person may be the head of a project or program office, head a major program within the company, or serve as chief information officer, chief technology officer, chief project officer, or chief engineer. Other companies may be of a scale in which the project management processes are not the same across large segments of the organization. Each program manager or organizational head may have full discretion to define the process or establish his or her own process over a broad framework.

The second level of accountability involves clearly defining all roles and responsibilities for project managers, team members, consultants, and project office personnel. This is challenging, because each person must be able to maintain this clarity as the organization expands, contracts, accepts new projects, implements new technology, and reassigns personnel. The program manager has to aggressively ensure the integrity of clear roles and accountability as everything around him or her is shifting and twisting.

Developing accountability begins with selling the workforce on the concept that project management is best accomplished through a structured, repeatable process. Not too much process, not overly bureaucratic process, but strategically thought out “just enough” process that is based on the organizational context. These processes are then created and rolled out in an orderly fashion to ensure acceptance and minimize disruption of existing work activities. Most people agree that implementing every process that is logical, right, and valuable immediately or all at once will overwhelm the organization. Therefore, the program manager must prioritize these processes on the basis of the challenges the organization is facing and then establish a strategy for implementing the processes. Strong accountability practice includes establishing an individual accountable for managing each process.

WorkOtter PPM helps organizations clearly establish accountability with software that enforces the structured, repeatable process that James T. Brown discusses in this post. Get a demo of WorkOtter today.

“The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management, Second Edition” by James T. Brown is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. Purchase the book on Amazon.