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One Person Is Responsible

I was helping a team last week come up with their action plan to improve part of their MRP system.

During the creation of the action plan two names were put into the 'responsible' column. After a bit of negotiation they changed it to read only one person's initials.

This is something that I see time and time again, but often seems to cause more confusion than is beneficial for the business.

Who is really in charge of an action when two names are listed?


If there is more than one person assigned to a task then who is going to take the lead and make sure that this is going to happen?

Or, do you get the more common effect where both people come to your next meeting asking 'did  you do that action?' on the way in through the door?

It might just be my opinion, but when you have one name against a task, where you have only one person responsible, progress is quicker than when you have two or more.

It might be that there is more than one person who needs to help to get the task done. That's fine. As long as there is clarity as to who is the one person responsible to ensure that the task does get done.

Of course, this is just my opinion based on experience. If you find this not to be the case please let me know. But, I must say when I see an action that says 'all' against the responsibility I'm fairly confident that the action will not get done before the next review meeting.

What do your action plans say in the 'responsible' column?



Giles Johnston
...fixing MRP systems and re-engineering business processes