Wasn’t this meant to be about accountability?

In my last post, I covered what I see as the real definition and value of accountability within an Agile organisation. Achieving a higher level of collaboration, teamwork and focus through the ability to discuss steps taken to reach some result, the need for clear goals and measures, for transparency and feedback mechanisms. That it’s less about the aforementioned result, and more about how you got there. Most importantly, I highlighted the requirement for teams or individuals to have autonomy to make accountability a relevant and useful concept to apply beneficially in an organisation.

When I first decided to write these few posts, I had a clear-ish idea of how they would flow. The first has been posted, and wouldn’t have changed anyway. The second would then cover some methods to achieve alignment between stakeholders and teams, the benefit of meetings (who would have thought?!?) built around those methods, and the resulting confidence that the team is doing the “right” thing, by all parties – the team, it’s members, and the company.

As is wont to be the case with things at the moment however – change is on the agenda. I’m going to break things down again into some key concepts which in and of themselves will constitute and lead to further posts. So instead of a bounded series on just accountability, there will be a coherent, but mixed bag of ideas that relate back to autonomy and accountability within the organisation. For example:

Setting team goals with stakeholder buy-in

Maintaining a goal based focus during feature inception

Clear definitions of constraints and assumptions, as early as possible

Feedback mechanisms

Being able to “fail safely”

Aligned with this, I also hope to share some thoughts around leadership within this space. A lot of the ideas (such as creating an environment where teams and individuals can fail safely) overlap – and rightly so. It’s up to individuals in leadership positions, from the team level up, to change the way they think about getting things done. To foster a culture of understanding and believing we can always do things better, that we don’t know what we don’t know, and always have something to learn. To encourage the next group of leaders – to make everyone a leader.

This all comes about because I am currently in a phase of rapid learning and change at work. My role has changed, how I work has changed, what I need to be thinking about has changed. My personal accountability has changed.

And now, what I will be posting has changed. Slightly. For the better. And if it isn’t, thankfully, I can just try something different.


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