Collaboration with Accountability

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Project management is an area that seems to constantly evolve. I like that about it—we don’t stagnate as a profession, we embrace new ideas and we demonstrate our ability to be flexible and adaptable. That’s probably one of the reasons why project teams have been so willing to embrace the idea of collaboration.

Sure, the fact that collaboration software is packaged with most project portfolio management (PPM) software these days helps, as does the fact that projects require people to work together to solve problems. However, I am sure that part of the success is down to the willingness of project teams and project managers to look for creative approaches to work.

However, I sometimes think that our ability to manage these evolutions progresses rather slower than our ability to work with them. In other words, controlling evolutionary areas lags behind the work itself. When it comes to collaboration, I think that is particularly true, and part of it is conscious—PMs (and organizations in general) don’t want to stifle the productivity and innovation that occurs in a collaborative environment.

That’s a positive thing, but ultimately we still need collaboration to drive results. Projects still have to deliver a predefined set of items in accordance with a schedule, and team members have a number of individual accountabilities they must …

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