Where does accountability start and end for a PM?

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New Member
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun 20 Jan 2013 12:51 pm

Hi All

I am nearly finished on my first project, but something happened this week that I'm struggling to draw a conclusion on.

First of all I have 2 roles, a project manager and an engineer so I am very busy day to day.

An individual was given some work to do and the report produced by him had some data that was used to make a technical decision. It now appears that the report contained errors which means an issue has gone undetected until this week. The person receiving the report who would check and use the data failed to spot the problem also.

These things happen I know, but the Managing Director has told me that he would have expected me to have supervised the individual performing the work and then check the data myself to ensure it was correct. This is probably a full week of my time, during which time I was doing my Engineering duties.

I explained that this is just one example of the many activities that take place each week and that I felt it was not possible to keep on top of so many task level actions and that we need to be able to delegate work packages to team members.

I try to make myself responsible for the project as a whole, and that means accepting these issues as my own and adopting the most low impact solution possible. But I don't feel I can prevent all of these things from happening in the first place.

I have been confused over the last couple of years about accountability when I don't have any direct reports, and this is an example of where opinions differ.

Can anybody relate to this?
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Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu 08 Dec 2011 1:34 pm

Hi there,

This is a difficult situation.

I suppose one approach could be to get the team member to verify (sign-off) that he accepts the document (or product) is accurate and fully completed. There is also another aspect of involving them early on to ensure you get their buy-in and commitment. Allow them time to write the doc and then more time specifically to verify it will show that you have take measures to attempt to mitigate errors.

I feel I am giving you a bit of a tenuous answer but I am not sure how else to approach this. Does this help at all?
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