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One Person Must Be Responsible For The Work

Team Role ClarityIf you want to create confusion make two people responsible for achieving the same goal. If you want to get nothing done make it three people.

Teams must have individual responsibility to complete specific tasks aligned with the larger Goal.

Below is an exchange with a Executive-Leader. I am consulting and coaching the organization. 

Executive-Leader

“Mike in your analysis, the only thing keeping us from getting where we have to get is clarity of roles and authority of roles?”

Me

Not sure that, that is the only thing…And I think it is one thing we can change and see what happens.

Following a systems theory approach a change to one part will affect the other parts in unknown ways.

Using the the 5 Questions: from Toyota Kata

  • What is our target condition? what are we trying to achieve
  • What is the actual condition right now? what are things currently like
  • What 1 obstacle do you think is preventing us from reaching our target condition? what is one thing that can be changed
  • What is your next step? PDCA experiment – What do you expect? what are you going to change and what do you expect to have happen
  • When can we go and see what we have learned from taking that step? a by-when and lessons learned from the step

I think that creating a single person who is Responsible for the parts of the project-goals we established  and letting the Team-Leader(s) and all the team members know, the following:

  • More clarity on the goal. How Good (quality) – by – when . Something concrete that we can point and say yes it’s done or no it’s not.
  • Who is responsible for the outcomes – single person
  • How the consulting team (those that help the responsible person achieve the goal) is to work and support the responsible person
  • How others have to respond to their requests
  • If a disagreement occurs, how is that best handled

The above sounds rather constricting – and it will help people pull out of the confusion of having 2 Responsible people working on the same project-goal.

If more than 1 person is Responsible for completing the goal, they all have valid arguments, they all are doing what they should be doing….and the because they all are Responsible for the outcome and want to do their best work it causes role confusion.

This may be fixed, somewhat resolved, if we have a single Responsible person…and that Single Responsible person, if confused, had access to the project manager for clarity on the goal.

I wrote a short blog post about this – 7 Team Problems and 4 Solutions

 

What do you think?

Have you experienced the challenges that occur when 2 or more people are responsible for completing the goal? How does this help or hinder team work? What ideas do you have to improve your work?

Team Building Leadership Innovation expert Michael Cardus

michael cardus is create-learning

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