Nothing clarifies what’s happening better than clear accountability.
Assigning responsibility is not enough. For the individual actor, being responsible is not the same as being accountable.
Clear accountability means knowing the separate “chunks” of work that must be accomplished – the predicates of success – when and how these must be done, and how the various inter-dependencies come together.
Most important, however, is to identify the chain of accountable for getting each part done so that the whole plan comes together like clockwork, even if something goes wrong.
Responsibility to do ones part should include accountability to get it done. However, one remains accountable even when the responsibility is delegated to someone else. If the responsible party fails in some way, the one who assigned that party’s responsibility is still accountable to step up and get it done.
This is why contingency plans are so important. Sometimes those responsible fail to do their part, but that does not imply that project failure is only that individual’s fault.
The leader remains accountable for success, but also for failure.
For a team to be truly effective, everyone must be a leader because everyone must drive accountability.