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A project manager can delegate authority, but he or she can’t delegate responsibility; it can only be shared. What is one specific situation that illustrates this assertion?

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I was told that while a project manager can delegate authority, he can never delegate responsibility. Can someone tell me why and give me an example asserting this situation?
asked 5 years ago by deb schubert (120 points) edited 5 years ago by MaplePM
First off I agree with the author that a PMP is really a waste of time and money.... Lets say you have 20 years PM experience and a degree in management.... What can they teach you that you don't already know.

I have been a manager of a PMO for 10 years and a PM with over 20 years experience, I have hired PMP people and non PMP people with experience. Let me tell you that a piece of paper you pick up on a weekend cram class isn't worth it and neither are the people who hand them out... Of the 300 people I have hired those with the PMP designation were the most incompetent and difficult to work with. First they think they are entitled and second they have no real world experience.... HR people WAKE up your throwing away a lot of good talent for a piece of worthless paper.....

Second people with PMP designations do not make more money..... Thats misleading in fact if you had one I would pay you less because you were not qualified in most cases to manage sanitation workers...

I would gladly put 5 of my best experienced Project Manager against any PMP and I will guarantee they will get any project done faster, safer and for less money than someone with a PMP...  So a gain human resources managers wake up and realize that your getting ripped off and short changed by those who have PMP's. Management is an art and a science as much as it is a people skilled profession...... They teach you those things on the job and not in a three day classroom or from some PMBOK.... I read that book twice and its pretty weird if you ask me.... as is the PMP dont waste your time get experience and work with companies who's HR people know real talent!!!!
5 years ago by anonymous
Paul your spelling is atrocious, and this is not a week end cram class. Just a simple question calm down.
5 years ago by deb schubert (120 points)

1 Answer

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Well, this means that the project manager can choose one of his team members and transfers to him a non-permanent authority for getting the delegated stuff done - however, if something wrong happens, then it the project manager is the one to be blamed, and not the team member.


For example, let's say that the project manager delegated reporting to one of his team members. That team member has all the authority over the others to ask them about the status of their tasks and if there are any challenges they're facing. If that team member makes any mistake in his reporting, or if he didn't do the job properly, then the person who will be responsible for these mistakes is the project manager, and not the team member.

Same goes for accountability - it cannot be delegated. See: http://www.projectmanagementquestions.com/853/what-difference-between-responsibility-and-accountability

I hope the above is clear.
answered 5 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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