Source: Andy Blumenthal

Agile Principle

Accepted Responsibility

Alternative name(s)

Take responsibility


XP - Extreme programming


Accepted responsibility, everyone on the team should assume they have responsibility. This principle provide emphasis for individuals are all responsible for contributing with sense and knowledge to develop the best products or process by being transparent with the progress. The responsibilities may be related with searching solutions for problems and possibilities to build a working product that are in process of development, the individuals must seek for information needed, communicate really well the problems and solutions, participate in respective discussions by helping other to achieve a consensus and realise improvements, all team must act accordingly to decide the improvements and agreed rules, the team must help other individual to take responsibility by following the steps agreed (Bjorkholm, 2012).


Bjorkholm (2012) says "everybody can agree on these simple rules since there is no responsibility for the result. The basic idea is that good behaviour and focus on improvements will lead to good results. It’s possible to promise behaviour but hard to promise a result since results usually depend on several variables and not just one individual. That’s when responsibility becomes blame and “no one’s responsibility”.
in order to help people take and accept responsibility there are some steps that might help promote a responsible environment. This can include:
a) A good channel of communication can help. This could be retrospective, some internal community or through the Scrum Master or the line manager; b) A good response. “Don’t come to me with problems, try to solve it yourself”.

Links to other agile principles or practices
Empower the team - It is a principle which identifies an efficient and effective execution of tasks in getting the details right and work done. This principle fixates on the importance of involving developers in the details of technical decisions (Poppendieck and Poppendieck, 2003).

Self-organising teams The principle where individuals have the same authority, they are motivated to cooperate with one another to realize their tasks and objectives. Self-organizing team refers to a team whereby individuals with unique or specialized capabilities combine and recombine their abilities consensually without centralized detail managerial guidance to accomplish a task (Rycroft and Kash, 2004).

Links to PMO knowledge areas (KAs)

Team management involves a selection of responsibilities, which involve, choosing the right person for a job, delegating and deciding who is responsible for what, communicating effectively and efficiently with all involved and motivating your team.

Teamwork is a working team which consists of two or more staff and they have different experience, skills, knowledge and a background that coordinate together with different responsibilities for a common goals and outcomes (Fernadez et al, 2008).

Examples of use outside to IT domain

The Police workforce is an example of this principle applied outside the IT domain as they need to accept responsibility for their acts and decisions making through the job to provide a prompt help and solutions for the community (Cohen, 2011)


Bjorkholm, T. (2012) Responsibility the Agile way. Available at: [Accessed: 15th June, 2014]

Cohen, S. (2011) We need a Smart, Agile and Innovative Environmental police Force. Huffingtonpost, available at: [Accessed: 15th June 2014]

Fernandez, R. Steve, W.J. Kozlowski. Shapiro, J. & Salas, E. (2008). Toward a definition of teamwork in emergency medicine. Official journal of the society for academic emergency medicine. 15(11) pp.1104-1112 [Online] Available: [Accessed: 14th june 2014].

Poppendieck, M., & Poppendieck, T. (2003). Lean software development: An agile toolkit. Addison-Wesley Professional.

Rycroft, R. W., & Kash, D. E. (2004). Self-organizing innovation networks: implications for globalization. Technovation, 24(3), 187-197.

External links

Agile Teams - Roles and responsibilities. Available at: [Accessed: 15th June 2014]

XP Extreme Programming. Tema Empowerment. Available at: [Accessed: 15th June 2014]

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