To help your partnership avoid the problems and pitfalls that can occur from confusion over roles, responsibilities and the chain of communication and permission through clarification and agreement. Nothing can send your partnership “off the rails” faster than problems with roles and responsibility. When your work rests on trust, being clear about who is responsible, makes the final decision or needs to be consulted before something moves forward is a no-brainer. Two people doing a task can become “why don’t you trust me to get it done?” Two different decisions about a final draft can turn into “Why are you stepping on my toes,” and not finding out about a change in date for a key event can lead to “We gave the funder the wrong information and are in big trouble – I’m out of this partnership.” These seemingly small things can become huge problems if you and your partner lack mutual understanding. Not to mention how it hampers effectiveness, creates duplication of effort and can generate bad will.
What’s the Result?
Through this exercise, you and your partner will create a RACI chart that clearly outlines your tasks and process and who plays what roles in making the work happen.
Flip chart or large whiteboard and markers, paper and pens
Time: 120 minutes +
Step 1: Getting Started: Some Ground Rules and Concepts for RACI Charting
When setting out to establish roles, responsibilities, and working agreements, partners should follow a few simple ground rules. You’ll want to really have honesty and openness in this exercise for it to be successful.
For any partnership to be successful, it’s key that roles and responsibilities are crystal clear. The goal is to move away from ambiguity and toward accountability.
Before we move forward, let’s spend some time with the following definitions for the RACI chart and process:
“The Doer” – The “doer” is the person who completes the task. They are responsible for action or implementation, which can be shared. Ultimately, the degree of responsibility is determined by the individual with the “A”.
“The Buck Stops Here” – The accountable person is the one who, at the end of the day, answers for the activity or decision. This includes “yes” or “no” authority and veto power. Only one “A” can be assigned to an action!
“In the Loop” – The consulting role is someone to be consulted prior to a final decision or action. This person usually has specific expertise, position or information that makes them important for consultation before moving forward
“Keep in the Picture” – This person needs to be informed after a decision has been made. Though it is a one-way communication, they may be required to take action as a result of the decision that was made. It may also cause problems if this person does not have timely and correct information
Now that you speak the language, let’s jump into the exercise.
Step 2: Doing the RACI Charting
When you’re done, get feedback. Share the RACI Chart with other stakeholders and consider their input. Make changes where appropriate and continue to check in on the chart over time to make changes as your partnership and work evolve. Some guidelines:
Sample RACI matrix
|Activity||School Principal||Program ED||Program Director|
|Communicate to funder||R||A||R|
|Deliver the Program||C||R||A|
Step 3: Clarifying processes & drafting an MOU