Accountability means owning responsibility for the final outcome of a process, even if the process is not entirely your responsibility.

As individuals within a collective, we all have individual zones of accountability such as our own tasks. Our core team members also have a collective accountability to the company. This means we are all in some way responsible for our group‘s final outcomes.

We have a shared agreement that we all agree to abide by:

Accountability Agreement

At Cantilever, we all agree that…

  1. If someone sends me work, I don’t have to accept it as-is. I only accept work I am committed to fulfill. I can ask for different dates, adjust estimates, and decline to work on parts of tasks I can‘t or don‘t want to fulfill.
  2. If I accept a task, I am in charge of Cantilever reach the stated outcome by the stated due date. Therefore I will seek to absorb it fully before accepting it, and plan the steps of it into my schedule. If other people are required in order for the task to be completed, I am accountable for ensuring that they have what they need, and figuring out plan B if they don’t pull through. I have the authority to make decisions around how we accomplish the “definition of done“, including who will help and in what capacity.
  3. I am in charge of asking for any help I need. It is not the team’s job to figure out if I need help.
  4. The moment a due date becomes unfeasible, I must act and create an alternate plan for the company.
  5. [Core Team Only] I am accountable first for my own work, but also the collective results we get as a company.

Linked Outcomes

Accountability is a factor in determining team member comp. During quarterly reviews, when managers review compensation, they should be providing feedback on their reports’ accountability habits as a part of that conversation.

Additionally, during weekly planning, if a team member has been demonstrating issues with accountability, they should be asked to take on less and less work each week until their accountability issues have been resolved.

If someone is struggling with accountability, it would be fair for PMs and Strategists to not allow that person to take on tasks that are critical.