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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2013
12 Project Manager Who's the boss? The result of valid, real and widespread accountability is improved performance and high job satisfaction. We can't simply force our teams to be accountable, but we can harness people's desire to do good and create the conditions for accountability to flourish. THOUGHT LEADERS JON JORDANS Jon Jordans CPPD is the Project Manager for the Cooper Basin Simultaneous Operations Multi-Well Pad project, an Australian- first project that leverages experience overseas and offshore in complex well construction techniques to maintain production and reduce costs. MOST PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCE IN high-performing teams know the di erence between being responsible for something and feeling really accountable for it. For business, accountability breeds improved performance coupled with high job satisfaction across the board -- in terms of the environment that leaders are trying to create, it ticks all of the boxes. Tr ue accountability, however, is elusive because our e ort is channelled constantly into trying to make people accountable when realistically, you can't. Traditional models of accountability have incorporated acronyms like 'LEAD' -- leverage, engagement, alignment and development -- and they typically rely on leaders changing their employees so that they become di erent beasts: employees that are accountable. Even more contemporary theories that start to list 'focus and in uence' as core components or cite the creation of 'less intr usive inquiries and approaches to blame', are still heavily reliant on consequences to force change. ese approaches can give some useful insight but they miss a fundamental premise: most people want to do the right thing. ey want to engage in their lives in meaningful ways, they want to a ect the world around them and they want to add value to all aspects of their own lives, including their work environments. By e xtension, people are predisposed to being accountable. Why is it difficult? So why is accountability still so elusive? ose that have experienced it will know that accountability is di erent from responsibility. A person can be nominally responsible for all sorts of things but that is di erent from feeling tr uly accountable. e word 'feeling' is the real key that unlocks this whole puzzle. e thing that sets accountability apart, and makes it di cult to create, is the emotion it represents. It is a positive emotion and there are very few positive emotions we can force people to experience. What we can do, and do often in ser vice elds for our customers, is to set the conditions for a positive e xperience and allow that positive e xperience to then develop and grow. If we want someone to feel accountable, then they must have all of the elements that allow them to a ect the outcomes that they are accountable for producing. W hile small e xter nal in uences may be seen as just a bump in the road, if external in uences are pushing signi cantly in di erent directions, then sooner or later a person will naturally become disassociated from the outcomes. e person, then, needs to be able to both see and control the system they are working within. Visibility If the windscreen of your car is clouded, you may not feel too con dent about delivering the time trial of your life. Visibility, then, is essential -- the person you want to feel accountable needs to be able to see the system they are running and understand how the system changes due to outside stimuli. Clearly visible business metrics and understanding down to transactional levels are often not constructed and available. KPIs can get translated into 'what I need to report' rather than being able to take a person through a data--information--knowledge-- understanding--decision--action cycle. Taking control If you are driving your car with no accelerator or steering wheel, you are probably not going to feel accountable for the ensuing crash. e system has to be controllable in some way;
Project Manager Dec Jan 2013
Project Manager Apr May 2013