Best Practices

How to Prevent a Lack of Accountability in Projects

Jonathan Friedman
July 13, 2020
How to Prevent a Lack of Accountability in Projects

Isn't it amazing when a project is executed flawlessly - everything is delivered on-time and on-budget, project team members collaborate and provide senior leadership with the visibility they need when they want it? Oh wait, this never happens. At the heart of the problem is the lack of accountability.

According to Henry Browning at the Center for Creative Leadership, "accountability is having a sense of ownership for the task and the willingness to face the consequences that come with success or failure." Many believe accountability is inherited, but in reality, it is something learned. Accountability is created when the environment is designed for accountability. When accountability is not present, you'll only get a few who do great work, at least until they decide not to. You'll also get sub-par results, and the herding cats mentality takes effect where someone has to chase people down for status updates.

In order to prevent a lack of accountability in your projects, you’ll want to create purposeful accountability across your project or organization, which can be extremely difficult. However, TrueNxus ensures that accountability flourishes in project management throughout your entire organization. Here's how TrueNxus helps create a project management environment where accountability flourishes, resulting in increased productivity, transparency, and collaboration across your organization.

1. Initiate a project

Begin to ensure accountability by identifying the project owners, including the business owner and project manager, and the executive sponsor at the very start of the project. Additionally, add any teams, and individual members or guests that will be needed to plan and execute the project successfully.

Project charter

2. Define a project charter

Next, in order to prevent a lack of accountability, you should define the project charter. Do this right away so that you can align all stakeholders at the very beginning. You can do an initial draft yourself and review with the project team, or build it together through a working session. Either way, collaborate from the very beginning and incorporate feedback from the whole team. If you've never done a project charter before, it is a short document that outlines the following:

Project plan

3. Create a project plan

After the project has been created and the charter has been defined, you can further prevent a lack of accountability by creating a project plan. However, don't worry if you and your team don't have full foresight into how the layout should look. The project plan becomes living and breathing and is continually updated throughout the life of the project.

Like the charter, you can either start this yourself and then get feedback from the whole project team or conduct a working session to build it out together. Either way, make sure you incorporate feedback and get buy-in from every stakeholder. A project plan is essential to ensure accountability and collaboration. Below are some additional ways you and your team can ensure your project prevents a lack of accountability problem.

Project status report

4. Monitor progress with project status reports

Finally, once the project plan is created, leverage the cadence defined in the charter and stand up a recurring status update meeting where you and the entire team will review the project status report. We at TrueNxus advise a weekly schedule at a minimum, if not a short daily stand-up. The cadence depends on the type of project. In these meetings, the entire project team comes together to review progress to-date, solution roadblocks, and understand the plan.

Establishing a recurring meeting to monitor and report progress instills accountability amongst each project team member by creating transparency and ensuring the team is collaborating to move the needle.

By leveraging TrueNxus's automated reporting, your organization can monitor and review progress at any time. The automation removes the frustration felt by project owners and project managers of herding cats to get a consolidated status report. Additionally, it removes the distractions felt by project team members continually being asked for status updates by multiple stakeholders. Instead, it allows the project team to truly collaborate and be accountable to one another and focus on what's most important - doing actual work.

Preventing a lack of accountability in projects

In order to prevent a lack of accountability, you’ll want to establish a standard process for initiating, and monitoring and controlling your project. By doing so, you’ll create a project management environment where accountability flourishes. TrueNxus can help. Reach out to our sales team today.