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Unity of command

The general rule is that for every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander or supervisor.

The US Incident Command system protocol specifies "Each individual participating in the operation reports to only one supervisor. This eliminates the potential for individuals to receive conflicting orders from a variety of supervisors, thus increasing accountability, preventing freelancing, improving the flow of information, helping with the coordination of operational efforts, and enhancing operational safety."

In a planning situation, it is important to establish a command or authority hierarchy. A specific individual must accept personal accountability for approving plans and actions.

This tip is sometimes interpreted as "have one boss" and that is the general thrust. The commander can delegate, but it is important to know who is in command in a situation.

A person should have one and only one manager to whom he or she is directly responsible.

Each person in an organization should take orders from and report to only one person.

There are situations where this principle is not followed, "such as when a project team is created to work on a special project. In such cases, team members report to their immediate supervisor and also to a team project leader. Another example is when a sales representative reports to both an immediate district supervisor and a marketing specialist, who is coordinating the introduction of a new product, in the home office."


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