Join Mike Figliuolo for an in-depth discussion in this video Using a RACI matrix, part of Decision-Making Strategies.
- As you involve stakeholders in your decision-making process, it is critical to define their role. Because in defining their roles, we're going to appropriately manage those stakeholders and get their input so we can make the best decision possible. We need clarity in terms of who's going to be involved in the decision-making, the role they're going to play, and how we're going to communicate information out. The tool I use for doing so is called a RACI Matrix, and there are four roles that people can play.
First is Responsible. This is the person who has to deliver the project, usually it's one person, and they're on the hook for making sure the decision gets made as well as executed. The second role is Accountable. Usually, this person is the approver, and Responsible typically reports to Accountable. Accountable has to make sure that the decision gets made, stakeholder involvement is done appropriately, and we get the results we're looking for.
The third role is Consulted. These are people who we go out and seek their opinions and gather information from. They're going to have a say in the decision in terms of information they provide, and that communication is two-way. So the person running the decision, Responsible, is going to provide information to those who are being consulted, so they can then provide back appropriate input in making the right decision. The last role in the RACI Matrix is Informed.
These people are kept up-to-date on decision-making progress. They may be told the style of decision-making that's being used, and ultimately, they're going to be told what the decision was. Usually, Informed is a one-way communication, from the people making the decision, and telling them, "Here's the decision we made, and how it's going to impact you." When I build a RACI Matrix, I do it in Excel, because it's very easy to break those roles down.
What you'll typically find is for smaller decisions, when you assign those roles on your RACI Matrix, you're going to find a lot of people who are informed. It's not critical for smaller decisions to get a lot of input; we can make the call and we can move on. So we're going to minimize the amount of consulted people who are going to provide input into the process. When you look at larger decisions on your RACI Matrix, you're going to find there are a lot more people who are consulted, because we have to gather all that extra information to make sure we're making the right call, given the size and impact that call could have on the organization.
So as you build your RACI Matrix, be sure you're clear about who's responsible for the decision, who's accountable for making sure the decision gets done, who's going to be consulted and have input into the process, and lastly, who's going to be informed of that final decision.
- Choosing a decision-making style
- Involving stakeholders
- Managing ambiguity and outcomes
- Reducing risk
- Communicating and executing decisions
- Measuring the results of decisions