3 Must Follow Accountability Rules For Project Sucess

Mike Girdler

Accountability is critical for project success The Merriam-Websters dictionary definition of accountability is…the quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to …

Accountability is critical for project successGold cogg

The Merriam-Websters dictionary definition of accountability is…the quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Now think about accountability in a project management context and how important is accountability to the success of your project?

Think about all the various elements and actions that go in to initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing out a project. If no one is accountable, then why put any effort behind the project? But how can we ensure we have accountability on our project?

There are 3 important things that can help us make sure that accountability rules and our project comes to a successful fruition.

Strong Leadership

Leadership must clearly establish why an organization is undertaking the project and outline expectations. If we take a step back, in many cases, a project manager does not have any formal or legitimate power over project team members, and because of this, team members may not see the project’s importance or see it as a priority. By having leadership clearly outline the benefits of the project, the expectations leadership has,  and their commitment to the project, will set the stage for project success.

Philosophy of Accountability

An important action we should take is to foster an environment of accountability among our team members. We need to ensure our team understands what individual and team accountability means, as it relates to the project. This means adopting a philosophy that success is dependent on more than just meeting timelines and going through the motions. Our team members need to feel a personal obligation to deliver success. They must deliver the highest level of quality and commit to being personally responsible for the success of the project.

Measuring and Communicating Results

To increase accountability on our projects we must measure and communicate project status. Measuring and communicating can have the motivating effect of either a carrot or a stick. For those that are performing at a high level and contributing to the project’s success, their efforts are recognized and celebrated. For those that may not be performing at the required level, measurements and results communicated throughout the organization can act as a wakeup call and get the team member refocused and on the right track.

Accountability is critical to the success of a project. Ensuring we have strong leadership support, a philosophy of accountability, and measuring and communicating results, will help us ensure we have the requisite accountability on our projects and help set us up for overall project success.

How important is accountability on your projects? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!

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Michael Girdler is a vice-president, CornerStone Dynamics Inc. His blogs focus on all things project management. Throughout Mike's career, he has invested deeply into projects involving sales, marketing, training and development, continuing education, and communications environments.

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