At Öredev 2009 I first learned about Christopher Averys responsibility process model in a seminar about agile adoption strategies. The speaker, Amr Elssamadisy, emphasized the importance of having team members with a good sense of responsibility for the project to be successful. Indeed he said that this is often crucial for success.
While the responsibility process model is interesting in itself, I will only briefly mention what it is about so you will go see for yourself.
When something goes wrong people will react in different ways where very common examples are plain denial, lay blame and justification. Avery describes that people go through a set of stages where acting responsibly is the last and only viable for successful results.
Instead of trying to justify erroneous behaviour, a person behaving responsibly will take on the challenge of correcting the behaviour for the sake of the project and not only seek the easiest way forward.
After the seminar two things happened. Firstly I recognized a few situations in past projects where it is obvious that the responsibility or lack of responsibility in team members was crucial.
Secondly I noticed that among the speakers on the agile track of Öredev, there were those who mentioned that individual responsibility matters for success and those who completely refrained from talking about characteristics or skills of people. Speakers advocating Scrum were in the second group, sometimes only stating that Scrum teams will self-organize.
This year it will be interesting to hear if the responsibility in team members will be mentioned again, and by whom.