The price of authority
Although authority is often equated with decision-making power, executives and project managers need to better understand how accountability is related to their scope of responsibility. Executives who expect accountability at the project level must also grant adequate authority to managers in order to guarantee results at that level. Project managers as well as each project team member must clearly understand the roles and responsibilities of other team members, a task which can be facilitated through the use of organization charts and portfolio tracking tools. Because many important project outcomes cut across functional lines of authority, executive sponsors need to clarify their expectations with regard to projectgoals, objectives, activities, and measurable results. Executives who understand variation and methods of managing it can use project plans as predictive instead of prescriptive tools, and pull accountability up to their level rather than pushing it down the chain of command.