Authority and Accountability

Once the key roles are defined in an organisation, there are several other concepts that come into play. These include: - Role titles - Role relationships and - Authority and accountability associated with those relationships.

Role titles are an example of a symbol. In a large organisation you can choose to use these to help get clarity (or to aid confusion).

Role relationships are also about clarity. To put it bluntly, people like to know who can do what in relation to them and vice versa. For example, where there is ‘joint’ accountability, you can predict some confusion and the resulting consequences.

It is important to note that gaining clarity is not about losing flexibility. It is however about getting clear on who can make what decisions in relation to whom. If implemented well, this will increase flexibility and responsiveness while eliminating confusion.

There are several core role relationships with defined authorities in SL. These include supervisor, manager, manager once removed, team member, project leader, project sponsor and advisor.

The authorities for each have been developed on the basis of first defining what a person is accountable for in relation to people. Once this is clear the question becomes, ”What are the minimum authorities for this accountability to be perceived to be fair?“