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The CrewLAB Accountability Framework & the Making of Scheduling

The CrewLAB Accountability Funnel


Everyone knows that Accountability is critical. All coaches and leaders have different styles for fostering it on their teams. In our hundreds of conversations with team leaders, this is the word that probably comes up the most consistently.

There’s the hard-edged approach where you set the bar high from the start. Anyone who can handle the intensity, the work ethic, and the pressure can stay. People self-select. These people tend to be tough, disciplined, and reliable without the need for their peers to push them to excel.

Then there’s the more patient, “boil the frog” approach, where leaders focus on camaraderie, buy-in, and a sense of belonging to build the size of the team and slowly turn up the heat. Natural competitiveness kicks in and people find their place on the team. Intensity rises. Through proper incentives, athletes figure out that they have to do all the training and all the practices to make it to the top and intrinsic motivation takes over.

At CrewLAB, we support all types of teams, but with our mission “to champion lifelong enjoyment and achievement in sports” we tend to prefer the second route.

In either case, there’s nearly unlimited reward for getting the culture of accountability right on your team. However, it's extremely difficult and eats up all your energy. We noticed coaches everywhere spending a ton of their precious time trying to keep records and to just get a grip on where their team will be and when. So, we started on our journey of building Scheduling.

Here’s the story of how this came to be. I am sharing this to show all our athletes and coaches the care we put into their experience and because this is ongoing.  We NEED your help to keep making it better.

Accountability Funnel (the 5 A’s)

As engineers and recovering management consultants, we like to make formulas and diagrams to better understand what we’re optimizing for.

To build a high-trust, high-performance, high-enjoyment team, you need multiple, sequential factors of Accountability. And I am proud to say that now CrewLAB effectively manages each of these for your team automatically.

Do a self-assessment of where you think you are at. ALL teams that we work with struggle with getting this perfect. So don’t stress, just shine a light on the weakness and make it better each day.

The Accountability Funnel

Moving all your athletes to the right of this chart becomes increasingly difficult and rare


Most teams just need to focus on getting kids to commit and show up to more practices, so improving Availability and Attendance first should be the priority for 80% of teams.

For the teams striving for national championships, actually measuring Adherence to a training plan and Accuracy to well-reasoned goals per cycle and workout is a differentiator.

Again, we make this all easy to do.

Building Scheduling to Help

Our design process involved synthesizing feedback on real designs from dozens of team leaders, establishing clear success criteria, and working through several iterations. Here’s how we did it.

Design Approach

Pain Points

  • The current way of taking Attendance is manual and annoying. Most teams use spreadsheets until they give up because it’s tough
  • Communication from athlete to coach gets lost across many channels and is frankly annoying. Coaches have heard enough excuses and just want to centralize their information about who is coming when
  • Attendance affects lineups, training plans, coach assignments, so last minute realizations that someone can’t make it are very painful
  • Measuring and monitoring training Adherence and Accuracy is not a common practice, takes a lot of effort to maintain and not easy to personalize for each athletes maximal gain
  • Training plans change all the time due to factors outside of anyone’s control
  • Coaches need more data to support their boating decisions and want to reward good behavior

Guiding Principles

  • Attendance/Availability is a conversation, not a form you fill out. Reasons for why matters
  • Needs to be 100% mobile for the on the go lifestyle of a team
  • Needs to work without heavy intervention from the same person (aka not everything has to go through the head coach)
  • There should be timely notifications that allow for everyone to stay up to date and positively influence each other
  • Prioritize simplifying logistics over reporting out extremely detailed analytics
  • Consider how multiple archetypal team members respond to this, not just the intense team captains out there


  • Leaders need to run all the logistics of their teams in one place: schedule, messaging, workouts
  • Clear expectations are communicated about when to show up. Availability and Attendance are known by everyone well in advance of the event
  • These features are used to make a more positive and bought in team culture
  • Athletes and coaches can both interact with the Schedule to plan ahead


So many sticky notes and ideas to boil down

Scheduling Brainstorms


A picture is worth a thousand words!



The “Final” Product

We’re proud of what we achieved together. Download the latest app and give it a shot.

Check out more about the final product here: What's new with CrewLAB?

Log Workout to Assigned EVentSet AvailabilityAdd Workout to Event



When we first launched the feature quietly, we realized that we lost some of the good gamified elements from the previous experience. Big green check marks and clear expectations of what needs to get done. So, we added those concepts back into the next launch.

We also realized that schedules really do repeat often and needed some more flexibility, so we added recurrence and multi-day events.

Here's a look at what we came up with...

iPhone Screenshots - 2024

What’s next?

There’s so much more that we can do here around tracking injured athletes, producing new insights from the Accountability data that’s being generated and more.

Please try out these features with your team and let us know what is great and what needs work. The product, like the rowing stroke, is an ever-evolving craft. Chipping away at it every day. Never will get it perfect, but we’re going to get as close as we can!

But first, we’re gearing up for a transformative summer training experience… Look out for the SUMMER SMASHER 2024!!

Summer Smasher

Dominic Pardini

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