Managing a team has many challenges, two of which are the issues of Accountability and finger-pointing. Accountability itself is often confused with responsibility. Here is a simple difference between the two terms. A person who is responsible is the one who completes a task, while a person who is Accountable is the one who must answer to the authority. Therefore, when someone completes a task, he or she is considered “responsible.” However, he or she might not be the person who is accountable, because the accountable person is the one who must respond to the authority. In a project, the ultimate authority is the sponsor. Depending on the task, the authority to whom an accountable person must answer to varies. For certain individuals, being accountable can be something new and frightening, which would very well lead to finger-pointing. A good project manager acknowledges the possibility of such happening and will do the best he or she can to ensure accountability is well respected in every task.
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