Thursday, August 18, 2011

Multipurpose Tools

A RACI chart is a tool commonly used by project managers for keeping track of who is Responsible, who is Accountable, who needs to be Consulted, and who needs to be Informed.  This is discussed and assigned at the start of a project, and then reviewed and revised as needed throughout the project until it's completed.  Yet RACI is one of those tools that can be used by people in many areas of business and for multiple purposes. 

One example is the major change initiative.  When roles and responsibilities are in flux and team members are transitioning, this tool is very effective in providing clarity.  It also gives the team a common business language that shows how they are each needed, but in different ways in order to make an assignment successful.

Another application is for the leader whose workload (or work team) no longer fits their micromanagement style.  It can give visibility to who has what, while allowing the leader to shift to the more senior level of Informed on less critical functions. 

It can even be used as a tool to show a leader that there's an imbalance within the team (e,g., one person is always assigned the role of Responsible and another the role of Consulted), or that skills and experience are not properly matched to tasks and functions.

If this sounds like something your team might benefit from, check with your organization's Project Management Office and see what kind of templates they use.  Or, click on this link for a great article written by Project Smart on getting started with RACI:  A Practical Guide to RACI.

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