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Daniel Kehoe: How to determine who’s responsible

IT’S not my responsibility. How many times do you hear that as you travel down the highway of work life? Who is responsible for what within your work group? Who performs the action? Who needs to be consulted for their opinion? Who makes the decision? Who provides information and/or resources? Who is advised of the action/outcome? Who is not involved in any way? The answers to these questions should be clarified for all key functions and tasks performed by your work group. Here is a checklist to explore the extent to which individual responsibilities are clarified, accepted and executed. As you review the list, answer these questions: What needs to happen? What could we do better? • Each person’s individual key responsibilities are clarified and performed to the best standard. • Responsibilities common to all are clear and performed to the best standard. • Individual responsibilities that appear to get neglected or overlooked are addressed. • The consequences on others when individual responsibilities are neglected or overlooked are explained. • We explore the reasons why individuals may not perform their responsibilities. • We advise those people who appear to neglect individual responsibilities. • The unique responsibilities of different roles are clarified and accepted. • We use a ‘responsibility and accountability’ matrix which clarifies who is responsible and accountable for what (see below). • We identify areas where responsibilities overlap and agree who has primary responsibility. • We check that people’s perceptions of their responsibilities reflect any new initiatives or changed circumstances. • We agree how we will follow through on any responsibilities we may have neglected. • Situations where the circumstances have changed but individuals have not altered their roles accordingly are explored and resolved. • Each person has the required resources, support, knowledge, skills and motivation to deliver their responsibilities. • We each understand and appreciate the difficulties associated with the responsibilities of other team members. • The context, space, and boundaries are defined for each role. • The level of direction and support each person requires is appropriate to the situation and reflects the level of competence of the individual. Responsibility and Accountability matrix List all key functions/tasks (vertical) List all names of team members (horizontal) Allocate Codes: P Performs action C Is consulted for opinion D Makes decision I Provides information A Is advised of action/outcome X Not involved in any way

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