Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Accountability is a Team Concept

Added on by Spencer Wright.

From a piece in Fast Company about the (DoD-funded) Software Engineering Institute:

Importantly, the group avoids blaming people for errors. The process assumes blame - and it's the process that is analyzed to discover why and how an error got through. At the same time, accountability is a team concept: no one person is ever solely responsible for writing or inspecting code. "You don't get punished for making errors," says Marjorie Seiter, a senior member of the technical staff. "If I make a mistake, and others reviewed my work, then I'm not alone. I'm not being blamed for this."

It's my belief that organizations run best when accountability - for both failures and successes - is shared widely. At SEI, where NASA flight software is developed, big failures can be catastrophic. In order to ensure the overall project success, all individual output is reviewed at multiple stages of development; if errors are overlooked, responsibility falls to the team – not to any individual in the process.