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The Octopus Files

   Friday, December 12, 2003  

Personal Accountability

Since the accountability proposed here is personal and informal, each one of us can choose the tool we consider the easiest to use; as shown above, my preference is MS Access, where I have previous years in separate tables renamed to log2001 and log2002 and the current table called 'archivo'

After conveniently personalizing the settings of the tool of choice, it will be maintained to help its owner recall all the details considered of possible future importance, like...
  • electric storms
  • unexpected visitors
  • emergency calls
  • misunderstandings, etc.

Everything is optional in your own personal accountability log, which liberates you from the pressure of reporting specific details for control or tabulation; the only important rule is to fill it up somehow, showing details that later could [at least] help as reference points to focus your memory on the sequence of events.

For example, today I had to search for the outcomes of a meeting, which I found on October 21st. showing that I compromised to deliver an interface by January 1st. ... two days later I was involved in an emergency project that takes priority and delays that outcome and notification were provided. Next Friday will be my last workday of the year and I may not be able to produce that interface as promised.

I may find the same information in the structured official report for Management, but I prefer to see the additional details I wrote, just in case something else comes to mind.
   posted by FernanDoylet at 2:20 PM

(0) comments

   Thursday, December 11, 2003  

General Accountability Framework

This is the form my co-workers and I have to fill up for each job request, to describe it and identify the requester, contact information, priority, status and other details needed for tabulation; it was more complicated a few years ago, when there was a formal process in place.

Accountability forms are different and sometimes creative, depending on the Organization and the Administrators in charge.

Maintaining an informal spread-sheet with a daily account of our diverse activities, allow us to explain every important or unimportant detail we may consider valuable for the future, like phrases with double meaning, personal perceptions, smells, ignored points of view, etc.
   posted by FernanDoylet at 4:28 PM

(0) comments

   Wednesday, December 10, 2003  

Accountability ...for... Liability

Digital Web Magazine mention Lawsuits against several important commercial websites on the article "Accountability for Accessibility and Usability" for their non-compliance with U.S. Federal amendment to the Rehabilitation Act called "Section 508.

Now we can find Insurance Experts focused on technology like BollingerTech, offering "technology errors and omission liability" for tech professionals, which increases the importance or need of the proposed informal accountability log.

There is more legal information related to the Internet linked from the Internet Society site.
   posted by FernanDoylet at 1:58 PM

(0) comments

   Tuesday, December 09, 2003  

"Knowledge is of two kinds, We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it."
-- Samuel Johnson

Informal Accountability Example

Since Thanksgiving, preparing documents and presentations to bring to Nova Southeastern University (NSU) cluster session on December 5 throughout 7, re-starting yesterday a new posting was prepared for this blog.

While there is no need to justify posting gaps, it may be convenient to recall the reason for the gap next time someone browses through this postings; because at least at this point of time, the gap breaks the original purpose of maintaining a stable frequency until this work is presented on January 2004.
   posted by FernanDoylet at 8:32 AM

(0) comments

   Monday, December 08, 2003  

Focusing on Accountability

Accountability is the way to keep track of our actions, to remember the details when we need to report them, to be reminded of pending or missing tasks, or to continue our efforts towards our goal(s). This book shows how important Accountability is.

Depending on personality, each one of us can choose a way to keep track of our actions; some prefer to carry daily planners to log every hour on each day, while others only have a wall calendar with hand-written notes on it; but those are options to organize or plan future activities, and not too efficient to report on activities already performed.

writing in detail how events happened, what we perceived or why we choose our actions, produces a very powerful 'personal' accountability document to remember or explain past events; it is like the pseudo-code or other remarks left inside the source code or its documentation, to make it more understandable when changes or improvements are required in the future.

As explained, here we will focus on a personal report of past events, using a de-facto tool like Excel; this informal document may help us produce formal required reports, as required by our partners or superiors.

If you need more reasons, please visit the page about Personal Accountability on

Another great article to justify being accountable towards each other is Accountability in Cross-Cultural Partnerships.
   posted by FernanDoylet at 2:15 PM

(0) comments

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