We talk about it all the time and we say we want it and need it. But what is it really?
At its core, it is a system where individuals are expected to do what they say they are going to do, there is a process in place that remembers what they said, and they are asked to provide their results when it is due. Sounds like a project plan and a ‘check off the boxes’ kind of project manager to me. Is that really what we want, and will it really meet our needs? If our only goal is to ‘get it done’ or ‘get it across the line’, then sure this will work, especially if the culture is reactive and focused on making money.
But, what if our goal is success? To go beyond expectations and delight our customers? Then what? Then, we would need a system that supports the individual, where expectations are just above what’s feasible, where the project plan is a road map, where the project manager is more like an orchestral conductor than a bean counter, where people are responsible for doing what they said they would do, and they want to do it.
Then I agree, we need that. We need a system of accountability.