Make one person responsible 24 Aug 2005
77 comments Latest by SM Kelly
We get a decent number of Basecamp requests to assign a to-do or milestone to multiple people (in Basecamp you can only assign to-dos and milestones to one person at a time). People say “We have 4 or 5 people working on this to-do and we want to assign it to everyone so we make sure it gets done.” And that’s the problem: The more people you make responsible for something, the less chance there is for it to get done.
The more people responsible for something, the more finger pointing, the more blame deflection, the less direct responsibility. Making multiple people responsible for something simply diffuses the responsibility, and diffused responsibility generally leads in one of two directions — stagnation or mediocrity.
So, when you have something to do as a team, make one person responsible for a specific result. There’s always one person more senior or more invested or more experienced. Make that person fully responsible and watch things get done quicker — and better.