Monday, 17 May 2010

RACI Chart and iMedia Project Management

Firstly, a quick apology for being 'off-air' for the past week. We inadvertently fell foul of Google's robotic anti-spam mechanism on Blogger and were 'disabled' as a result. Getting this reviewed by a human being turned out to be a process of which Kafka would be proud but reviewed it was and here we are again.

It's been a while since we looked at the specifics of filling out a RACI Chart (Responsible, Accountable, Consult and Inform) although I had to revise the concept for an enquiry about our Stakeholder Management training course last week. We suggest that this tool can really help project managers at the beginning of a project once you've a strong idea of what the project is about and who's involved i.e. you've done your stakeholder analysis both internal and external.

Often the project manager's role is a dumping ground for the responsibilities and accountabilities of other management. So if you've ever suffered in that dreaded lonely field where the fingers point at you and you are thinking. '... but that had nothing to do with me!', then maybe a RACI Chart can help. Essentially, it defines roles and responsibilities in a clear unambiguous way. Ah! Yes, the catch is getting all of you to agree on the role definitions!! So if you get the definitions of the roles very clear in your mind, you will lead others to realise precisely what their role is for a particular stage in the project.

Paul Ritchie does a nice job in finding definitions of Accountability and Responsibility in the Crossderry blog 26th April - his simplified definitions certainly impress me!
  • Responsible = Those who do the work in question
  • Accountable = The one who signs off on the work that Responsible provides
And, if you want to understand more about drafting a RACI Matrix, Ginny Edwards in, Constructing a RACI Matrix will give you plenty of tips. I know she seems to cover variations on the RACI Matrix but not nearly as well as Wapedia – be sure to scroll to uncover the alternatives.

These alternatives may help you if your way of working and assignment of roles in your organisation differs from the usual suspects (RACI). It's nice to have someone else's confirmation that organisations differ and your organisation may be so locked into its ways that they won't shift and would rather stick with one or two names for comfort. Yeah! Been there, done that!

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