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How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams by Charles J. Pellerin

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CHAPTER 18
Don’t Put Good People in Bad Places
 
 
 
Team members need to clarify and communicate what others can expect of them. We call these expectations “RAAs” for Roles, Accountability, and Authority. Our definitions of the roles, accountability, and authority are as follows (see also Figure 18.1):
• Roles are the functions of a person in their work context.
• Accountability is the results individuals must deliver.
• Authority is the power granted to individuals, generally through delegation.
FIGURE 18.1 RAAs, the Eighth of the Eight Behaviors
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RAAs in 4-D Assessments

Initially, we added the RAA measurement to our assessments to cross-strap with a similar tool assessing project processes. It seemed wise to have one social context measurement in the process assessment and one pure logical-side measurement in the social context assessment.
I was then surprised to see very low RAA scores in what I believed were well-organized flight projects. We also saw that unclear RAAs created contexts that lowered all the other behaviors. Therefore, although we dropped the process assessment tool (another great idea of mine unblemished by success), we retained the RAA measurement.
When people are unclear about the organization’s expectations of them and others, everything is harder. When you do not know, for example, whom to appreciate for what, effective appreciation is problematic. It had become ...

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