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A RACI Against Time

lannon Feb11

You just never know what is going to happen in your business life. Recently I had to work like crazy to get a bunch of deadlines completed to free my schedule so I could take an unexpected trip, half way across this wonderful country of ours, Canada.

As events unfolded, an unexpected team came together with each member naturally assuming a specific role. From leader and manager to subject experts, advisors, information generators, documentation creators, and experienced friends and family members, there was a natural stakeholder relationship created that fit a RACI – responsible, accountable, consult and inform. This was a good thing.

A RACI is a powerful tool for stakeholder analysis used to identify and understand key roles of individual team members in an organization. The simplest definition of a RACI goes like this:

Those who are Responsible:

These are the doers – the people responsible for the nuts and bolts. If you and your team are reporting to a sponsor who is the final person accountable for the work, then you belong in this category.

Those who are Accountable:

The buck stops here. This is the person(s) who has the most at stake in events and happenings. They’re the ones who have the final decision or must present key recommendations to others in a final presentation. At the end of the day they sign the cheque. In most organizations this would be the sponsor, but it really can be anyone who has the final call.

Those we need to Consult: The experts.

Every task needs people with the right information at the right time onboard, subject experts and advisors who can help the team leader gain a clear perspective. You might have that person(s) in house (internal stakeholders) or need to outsource to find them (external stakeholders), but either way, they’re vital for getting the job done efficiently and effectively.

Those we need to Inform: These are all the stakeholders that need to be kept in the loop. They need to know what is going on from a logical and rational perspective with key information.

Though my recent RACI was unexpected, it’s really helpful to make RACI a formal part of your business’ planning process, particularly if you are going to be involved in any strategic, tactical or operational planning. This will help clarify the different roles and responsibilities needed to complete projects, ensuring your people are able to work with focused intent and to the best of their ability.

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