ACCONTABILITY IN PROJECT EXECUTION
The structuring of work and delegation of authority for execution of the project would not automatically ensure achievement of the objectives of the project. Authority empowers one to make decisions for results in relation to the work at hand. Hence, one who is delegated authority must take decisions and those decisions must product results. But some individuals may not take decisions and also may not be concerned about results; delegation of authority to such individuals or agencies would be disastrous for the project. It is meaningless to delegate authority without ensuring that the individuals or agencies will strive for results. When an individual does so on his own he is said to be responsible. In such a case he commits himself morally to the achievement of the task whenever he undertakes an assignment or accepts delegation of authority. An individual can also be made responsible by being held accountable for results. When an individual assumes moral responsibility he holds himself accountable to his own conscience. But when he accepts responsibility for fear of withdrawal of authority or sanctions of any other form for non-achievement of results, this type of responsibility can be classified as contractual responsibility. Authority, therefore, accompanies responsibility and in the business world it has to be tied up with accountability. Everyone naturally clamours for authority but it should be delegated only if accountability is accepted. Authority devoid of accountability merely infates egoes, causes hindrances and ultimately retrogrades progress of work. When examined in the context of accountability, many of the organizational alternatives may not be found helpful for the achievement of the project objectives. Table 3.1 makes an analysis of the organizational alternatives discussed so far in the context of authority and accountability. It can be seen that except for arrangements 4, 5 and 6 no one, either singularly or collectively, can be held accountable for all the performance parameters of the project. For achieving project objectives, therefore, the above three arrangements are the only viable alternatives. I can also be seen that except for arrangement 6, the accountability is shared. In arrangements 5 and 6 accountability for project performance rests squarely with the project manager-it is, of course, a different issue whether he would be able to withstand the pressure or not. Where there is a doubt, arrangement 6 cannot be conceived of. In case of arrangement 4, in view of the complexity of its operation, parties may not assume responsibility as desired and, therefore, cannot be held accountable. Arrangement 5 assumes full accountability and minimum operational complexity though the arrangement may not be cost effective. Thus, it is possible to choose an organizational arrangement by using accountability as the guiding factor.
A work breakdown structure (WBS) in project management and systems engineering, is a tool used to define and group a project's discrete work elements (or tasks) in a way that helps organize and define the total work scope of the project.A work breakdown structure element may be a product, data, a service, or any combination. A WBS also provides the necessary framework for detailed cost estimating and control along with providing guidance for schedule development and control. Additionally the WBS is a dynamic tool and can be revised and updated as needed by the project manager. [pic]Example of Work breakdown structure applied in a NASA reporting structure. The Work Breakdown Structure is a tree structure, which shows a subdivision of effort required to achieve an objective; for example a program, project, and contract. In a project or contract, the WBS is developed by starting with : • the end objective and
• successively subdividing it into manageable components • in terms of size, duration, and...