The Sixth “R” of Reporting – Responsibility

Last week I covered the fifth stage of Reporting as a Project Manager; Regret. There’s always the stage where you understand what’s going on and the inevitable reaction that follows; regret. That’s a powerful force, to truly see and know the flaws, and a good detailed study helps you understand the results and what’s wrong (and right).

Sometimes regret feels pretty good. At least you know what’s wrong.

So what happens after going “hey, our reporting system is flawed” or “OH MY GOD I’VE BEEN LIVING A LIE?”

The next stage is Responsibility. Someone has to step up and take responsibility and say “I’ll fix this.”

If you’re the Program Manager or Project Manager who did all this? Guess what you’re the first person to stand up and be responsible for how this gets fixed.

You won’t be alone, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Here’s why you’ll stand up to fix it:

  • First of all, you’re a Program/Project Manager. You use this report, it reflects your projects, you should lead making it work. You might be the one who cares the most.
  • Secondly, you’re a Program/Project Manager, and you’re an organized bugger. You might as well do it.
  • Third, you know the data, what it means, how it’s transformed, and what it’s supposed to do. You remember how you had to learn all that stuff? Yeah, well now you know it.
  • Fourth, someone’s got to. It might as well be you.
  • Fifth, you kinda publicly showed what’s wrong, people are going to figure you’ll solve it.

Though really, number two is always a big part. People like us naturally try to fix things. You’re going to do it anyway.

I also said you won’t be alone. You won’t.

See a good mapping, a good discussion, a good exposure will lead people to help, to solve problems, to fix things. The people that stand up and try to help? They’re the ones you can count on to help you on this.

Come to think of it you might find people who can help you on other things by seeing who stands up.

Scary? No, I find that people will stand up to help, they will take responsibility. You’ll probably be surprised. I usually am.

So now you’ve taken responsibility, and you’ve found those who will help. We’ll get to the final stage next.

Well the sort of final stage. That takes a little explaining, so be patient . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at