30. March 2012 17:11
“Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting practices; in other words, an absence of accounting means an absence of accountability” – Wikipedia entry on Accountability.
Just as financial accountability requires records of financial transactions; personal, team and organisational accountability requires records of what has been done to achieve goals. Both financial accountability, and personal, team and organisational accountability requires progressive records in context, because people quickly forget what needs to happen or what has actually happened.
But what are the best accounting practices? In simple terms they are the means to ensure that each person knows what they need to do, when and with whom. Then after work has been completed, there is some way of knowing what has actually been done, when and by whom.
In general, people don’t like keeping financial records, but they do it because regulations, accounting practices, and management require them to do so. The fact that financial accountability is practised contributes to good governance, value for money, reduced waste, and the availability of records needed to identify and understand where improvement can be achieved.
Often managers are reluctant to demand similar levels of personal and team accountability to financial accountability. The governance and productivity benefits of increased personal accountability are significant, but the lack of workable tools and perceived cultural resistance often causes managers to forgo these benefits.
Another concern of managers is that they need to be more personally accountable for what they want teams and individuals to achieve. This makes it easier for people at the working level to align what they are doing with management direction and then record and communicate what they are doing or have done.
For workable accountability throughout an organisation, distributed management practices that account for what people are actually doing need to be developed and sustained. In particular, strategies, projects and tasks need to be linked to personal actions/To Do’s. This linkage provides alignment and ensures that personal To Do’s are contributing to team and organisational goals.
Just as financial management software makes it easy to manage finances; task, team and time management software makes it easy to manage and sustain personal and team accountability.
TASKey has developed and validated web and mobile software (called Me2Team) that helps each person work more efficiently and records critical data for organisational, team and personal accountability. The software aligns and sorts through strategies, projects, tasks and To Do’s to present information from each user’s perspective. Each user receives a list of To Do’s that they are responsible to complete or contribute to. Completed To Do’s update progress reporting.
A comparison of financial accountability compared to personal and team accountability with and without using TASKey Me2Team software is provided below. With strong management support, TASKey Me2Team web and mobile software can facilitate and sustain personal and team accountability to significantly improve workplace governance and productivity.