1. the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.
1. subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable
I was researching what this word really means. People talk about a culture of accountability and it tends to be used a lot in leadership circles. It is also awkwardly the second attribute of RACI models. If you don’t know, RACI is an acronym that was derived from: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. I see it used a lot when companies ask how they can improve their employee engagement. It tends to be a word thrown around like communication. No one is accountable. No one communicates. Must a be a very odd place to work.
As a product manager, do you wait for accountability to be assigned or do you grab it by the horns and own it? Do you even know what you are accountable for? This might be a good question to start with during your next one-on-one with your manager. Do you want to be accountable for anything? This might be a good question for your own career self-assessment. While I have seen both the good and the bad with RACI models, I do tend to approach goals with all four RACI attributes keeping both the “R” and “A” assigned to myself (or my team). I consult where required and inform as necessary. I would argue that one of my personality traits is “being accountable” and I think this is what makes me a great product manager versus just a good product manager.
To close, I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the blog posts I found (link):
“A personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results – to see it, own it, solve it, and do it.”
For more reading, my good friend Jim Holland wrote a guest post “Some Thoughts on Roles and Responsibilities” on On Product Management. And Paul Young wrote another on RACI models here:”Core Teams and Tradeoffs“.