Do you ever hear comments like …
Very few of us like working in chaos. However, organisations are often poor at clarifying what we should do or should expect of each other. Introducing change makes things even worse as with little experience of new working practices, we can tend to fall back into our old ways. As you develop new processes, you have great opportunity to ensure roles, responsibilities and accountabilities are very clear. This will help you implement your changes more effectively and will pay business dividends in the future.
I use a technique called ‘RACI’ to clarify the roles associated with process steps where:
- ‘R’ is the person Responsible for work getting done. Ideally, there should only be one person responsible, however, where extra expert knowledge is required, this role may be shared.
- ‘A’ is a single person who is ultimately Accountable.
- ‘C’ are people who need to be Consulted prior to a process decision or action being taken. They may be subject-matter experts, or impacted upon by the process.
- ‘I’ are people who need to be Informed after a process decision or action has been taken so they can perform their job effectively.
‘R’ and ‘A’ roles are mandatory, ‘C’&’I’ roles are allocated if they add value to the process implementation.
At a successful RACI workshop you will:
- Agree the process steps
- Identify RACI roles and definitions for each step
- Identify and assign staff to the various RACI roles
- Resolve any overlaps or omissions
- Document the results in your process diagram or as a matrix (see below)
- Gain final approval for the process and roles from senior management.
The Process and RACI Matrix
If you get RACI right, there should be:
- Improved teamwork, cooperation and communication
- Less duplication of effort (or omissions)
- Fewer errors
- Increased productivity, as everyone is clear about what they should do
- Improved business efficiency
- Improved customer satisfaction.
Although the above example has been based around a process, what I like about the RACI technique is that you can use it from board level down to working practices to clarify how your business roles, responsibilities and accountabilities work.