Task Accountability is the project management activity associated with ensuring successful completion of project activities at the task level.
When to use
Task Accountability is required from all project team members. When a task is completed, it should be checked by another team member, normally a Core Team member, to ensure successful completion.
On some projects, technical reviews will also be used to check on successful completion of the project activities. These reviews are conducted by an independent team of experts and are covered in more detail in module 10.3, Technical Reviews.
When working with vendors or suppliers on unique project tasks, a work authorization process is often used to direct and control the effort at the supplier.
High risk tasks are often tracked with detailed “mini-deliverables” to monitor the progress. Low risk tasks are often tracked simply by ensuring the required resources are in place and working on the task.
- Task requirements for quality, schedule, and cost are normally set during project planning. This may occur at the beginning of the project or at the beginning of the phase in which the task will be accomplished.
- The start of the task and completion of the task should be reported at the project pulse meeting (see module on Team Meetings).
- Following task completion, a Core Team member should meet with the task leader to review the task results and check for completeness.
- When required, a Technical Review will be held to check for the completeness of a group of tasks that comprise a technical deliverable on the project.
Hints & tips
- Establish a standard practice in your project that every task will be reviewed by a Core Team member. This is not meant to be a personal “performance review,” rather it is a double check of team members to be sure that nothing is accidentally forgotten or overlooked.
- Do the Core Team member review as soon as the task is complete because the work is fresh in the task leader’s mind and they can quickly answer questions.
- If possible, have the Core Team member who will be using the result of the task in their next task conduct the review.
- When working with suppliers and vendors on unique tasks, the work authorization process will help to keep them in sync with the project. Otherwise they may get ahead of the project team and do work that will need to be repeated – and they will charge to do it twice.
- The level of task risk should determine whether to monitor a task with “mini-deliverables” or “level of effort.” Risk may be because of technical complexity, organizational complexity, skill or experience of individuals conducting the task, time urgency, or resource scarcity.
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