Responsibility, accountability and authority

In last 2 weeks I had a chance to review and reinforce my understanding of responsibility, accountability and authority.

One can only be responsible and accountable for something she has the required authority to deal with.

For instance, a product manager cannot be responsible for defining revenue projections of a product if she doesn’t have the authority to drive the revenue generation strategy and tactics, which normally falls under marketing and sales. Note that I’m not talking about authority in the sense of being the “boss”. I’m talking about the authority a product manager uses to lead her product. The product manager has the authority to drive the product strategy and tactics even not being the boss of anyone. This is part of her job description.

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