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03/02/2009

Accountability

This is another post in our series on implementing project management software.

If you missed the earlier posts, read them here:
Communication
All About Processes
Take It In Phases
Planning: Another Key Strategy
Tackling Project Management Skills
Project Management Skills and Project Management Software
Implementing Project Management Software: Common Strategies

What about the a-word, accountability? No one seems to want to be accountable any more, and many people don't seem to want to hold people accountable. How does that apply to project management software?

Newton's First Law of Motion states that "Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it." OK, this isn't exactly scientific, but people in organizations will continue in their "state of motion" - doing things the way they have done them - unless some "force" is applied to change that.

This usually means that it is either too painful for an individual to continue operating the way they are operating (perhaps because they are tired of customers getting angry at them, or going through "fire drills", or something similar), or they are held accountable to perform a new process.

The whole purpose of implementing project management software is not to have some fancy new tool, but to strategically improve the organization in some way - to respond to customers better, keep things from slipping through the cracks, become more productive, etc., etc. That is only accomplished if people both use it properly and use it to perform your organization's key processes. This does not happen naturally, which means that the strategy of putting the software out there and "hoping" that people adopt it rarely works. Unfortunately, there must be accountability. And after all, that's a form of leadership, isn't it - setting the vision and expecting people to carry out that vision.

Accountability can be done in a number of ways - it can be something that is feared, or something that is rewarded. You know your organization and culture, and the purpose of this blog is not to get into the proper ways of motivating people.

The point is that project management software can be a strategic asset but there must be some accountability so that the organization is moving together in the right direction.

Send your thoughts and comments to blog@teaminteractions.com or post a comment!




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