Is Your Team Accountable to Your Annual Plan?

By Jessica Wishart

team accountable to annual plan

According to PMI’s 2017 Global Project Management Survey, 1 in 4 strategic initiatives fail. This is not team accountable to annual plangreat news for anyone who recently spent days in a conference room and weeks or months preparing for an Annual Planning Session to write strategic initiatives. I imagine you’d like to see more than just a handful of those initiatives bear fruit. How can you turn the odds in your favor?

One major factor in achieving goals is team accountability. Without this key ingredient, you are fighting an uphill battle to get anything done. Set your team up for success by running each of your Annual Initiatives through our framework for team accountability.

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Run your annual initiatives through the 5 C’s of Accountability:

  1. Common Purpose: For each initiative, try to paint a picture of why it matters that this gets done. Answer these 3 questions:
    1. How will it help the company achieve the Core Purpose?
    2. How will it help your team/department or company achieve its longer-term goals?
    3. How will it help the people doing the work achieve their goals? Why does it matter to them, personally?
  2. Clear Expectations: You need to be clear from the start about what—specifically—you are doing. You need to clarify who owns the initiative, what the due date is, what success and failure look like, what resources are available, what the budget is, what happens if you don’t succeed, etc. Without this clarity, you can’t set the team up to deliver on the initiative.
  3. Communication and Alignment: Now that you’ve done the hard work of answering tough questions about exactly what you are doing and why, you must be sure that your message was effectively communicated and understood. Gain alignment by sharing the message and having everyone in the organization share what they are going to focus on to help the company achieve the Annual Initiatives.
  4. Collaboration and Coaching: For each initiative, you should have a detailed project plan of how each department/team/person is working together to achieve the desired outcome. You need a weekly meeting rhythm to stay focused and aligned around your work and to make adjustments quickly together.
  5. Consequences and Results: Remember those expectations you clarified in step 2? Be transparent about results along the way, and make sure you are learning from results in real time. This is the best way to make adjustments for future success. If you aren’t successful, be consistent in applying the consequences you agreed to in the beginning, but remember that consequences can be positive, too. If you do beat the odds to achieve your annual goals, set aside the time to celebrate with the team.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it is. However, the Rhythm execution platform can streamline this process so you can build team accountability into your plan. The Rhythm software allows you to link the various parts of your plan together to get visibility into how things connect up to the company’s long term goals, and our planning process prompts you to have one clear owner and Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for all of your goals. Our dashboards drive transparency and make it easy to communicate, work across departmental teams, and stay aligned to achieving goals throughout the year. Plus, you can’t hide from the results - good or bad. Let us help you navigate the challenges that inevitably come along to test your team’s execution and accountability.

Download Accountability Assessment


Want more information on Team Accountability? Check out these additional resources:

The Power of Systems and People: Accountable Leaders and Teams leadership development program to improve team performance.

Take Our Team Accountability Assessment to see how your team stacks up.

Team Accountability Begins with Personal Accountability

How top CEOs Close the Strategy Execution Gap

Building Team Accountability: Job Scorecards

10 Signs of an Accountable Culture [Infographic]

Growing Team Accountability in Your Organization

Quick Tips for Building Accountability

5 Steps to Having an Accountability Discussion [Video]

Learn more about accountable leaders and teams.

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Jessica Wishart


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images