5 Steps to Save a Failing Project through Accountability

As the manager of a project or of a special company initiative, have you ever been in the position of realizing that nobody is taking the program seriously?

Have you been forced to ask your boss to step in to help deliver the message that the effort is important?
Have team members consistently missed their deadlines even though you’ve communicated a clear plan with clearly assigned responsibilities?
frustrated-project-manager.jpeg Missed deadlines from team members can lead to incremental costs of project delays.
You are not alone! Many organizations fail from the outset to properly set the basic elements for a successful change management program. And many project managers struggle to find a solution when their project is already underway and team members are behaving badly
Right The Ship
It is unfeasible to scrap a major project to go back to the drawing board and design it correctly.   But is never too late to take corrective action by injecting a culture of accountability into an ongoing project. The correction must begin with clarity – clarity in communicating what needs to be done and what the consequences will be if things do not get done.

A Culture Of Accountability

We have identified 5 key steps to inject a culture of accountability into a change program, project, department, or business.

  1. Secure Executive Authority

Ask the executive sponsor of your change program or project, the department head, or the CEO for the authority to define a culture of accountability. Specifically ask for the authority to define the consequences, to all team members, of meeting expectations or of failing to meet those expectations.

  1. Develop and Communicate the Case for Change

Clearly define a compelling and concise business case to align the interests of all affected constituents and participants. Once you define this case for change, make sure you constantly communicate it as the project progresses and benefits begin to be realized. 

  1. Identify and Train Accountability Agents

Make sure you have a team of leaders who are well versed in the accountability program and culture that you are trying to inject into your change program, project or organization.
This team of “accomplices” will be charged with constantly driving the message, the business case, and the rewards and consequences. This team will become your day-to-day eyes and ears throughout the accountability culture roll out.

  1. Manage Resistance Proactively 

Be proactive in identifying, confronting, and diffusing resistance to the change program. This means utilizing the executive authority granted to you to drive your accountability program and doing whatever it takes to realign constituents’ interests.  

  1. Measure and Reward Accountability Successes

Make sure you have a platform like CommandHound to help you define and track accountability at the individual level. Only when completion performance is tracked at the individual level can accountability take hold. A tool like CommandHound keeps score at the individual level and allows each team member to track their own performance against expectations as they pursue the goals of the program.


Change requires accountability. Accountability requires tracking. A tool like CommandHound makes the implementation of a culture of employee accountability possible. Without it, you again may fall into the trap of constituents not taking the change program seriously and missing deadlines and goals.
Would you like to learn more about accountability?
Download our Ultimate Guide to Accountability in the Workplace here:

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