A very interesting discussion is taking place in the Lean Software Development Yahoo group called ‘Process or People’
I want just to quote Kent Beck for this clear example:
Skype’s recent troubles are an excellent example of accountability in
action. They said, “The mistake was ours. Here’s exactly what happened.
Here’s what we’re doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” I trust Skype
after this episode, even though I’m not completely satisfied with their
service. I’d rather deal with an open organization like Skype rather than my
local phone provider who attempts to avoid all responsibility for their poor
In short, I find accountability–rendering account without blame or
excuse–very useful, while I find blame destructive. Separating the two
concepts has been very helpful in my career.
This is a good lessons for both parties: who gives and who get accountability.