Frameworks & ToolsGovernanceJust ProcessNot my pigeon

Introduction

If you’ve been following us from the beginning you know that we’ve been through the major elements already. By now you should have a pretty well defined process; documented both visually and in text, defined who owns the process and who is responsible to manage it. So what further roles and responsibilities are left to define? That is what we’ll be going through today with this post.

If you’ve missed our previous posts find a small recap of the different elements below.

Roles and Responsibilities

Whilst our process already has a process owner and a process manager, this doesn’t mean that the steps within the process will be executed by these 2 roles. As such we still need to define who is responsible to executing the steps within the process.

Moreover some steps require input from or to others. This part of process design is especially important when the process execution spans across multiple teams. For those of you familiar with ITIL, you already know where I’m going… we need a RACI matrix.

What is a RACI Matrix

For each step of a process the RACI matrix defines who is

  • Responsible – to execute the task;
  • Accountable – for the quality of the task;
  • Consulted – People or teams from whom to gather input to properly execute the task;
  • Informed – People or teams to inform with the result of the task or that the task has been completed.

Whilst consulted and informed are quite self-explanatory, when in the thick of it, responsible and accountable tend to be confused.

Responsible is the person executing the task. Accountable is the person that manages the task, is responsible to escalate, and check the quality. If something goes wrong, the buck will stop with the person who is accountable.

Let’s take a practical example.

A developer is responsible to fix a defect. The quality of the code and making sure that the developer delivers of time is the task of the manager. As such Responsible = Developer, Accountable = Development Manager/ Dev Team Lead

A finance executive is responsible to invoice clients. The Financial controller is to ensure that the invoices are of the correct amount and done on time. Responsible = Finance Executive, Accountable = Financial Controller.

How to build the RACI Matrix

There are 2 ways, I’m going to show you the way which I find most practical from my experience.

Step 1: Create a table with 5 Columns

Process Step Accountable Responsible Consulted Informed
         

Step 2: Under ‘Process Step’ list all the major tasks and things that need to happen.

Step 3: Start by filling in who is responsible to execute the task, and who is their manager or is accountable for their work.

Step 4: For each step determine whether any input is required from anyone else and list them under ‘Consulted’. Having gone through the inputs and outputs, this step should by now be quite easy.

Step 5: For each step determine whether any output is required and list them under ‘Informed’

Working on the simplistic example I gave in the previous post

Process Step Accountable Responsible Consulted Informed
Issue Post internally HR Manager HR executive Hiring Manger Staff
Issue Post externally HR Manager HR executive Hiring Manager Recruitment Agencies
Application screening Hiring Manager Hiring Manager HR Executive HR Executive
Set-up Interviews HR executive HR Manager Hiring Manager Candidate
Post Interview feedback HR Manager HR Executive, Hiring Manager n/a Candidate
Extend Job Offer HR Executive HR Manager Hiring Manager Candidate

Why have a RACI matrix?

Are you familiar with these complaints?

  • I didn’t know the sales team had to be informed.’
  • That’s not part of my job, it should be done by person x
  • Why wasn’t I part of this decision?
  • How come I wasn’t informed of this?

The RACI Matrix, will define each and every one of these at process design, during which all stake holders participate and all stakeholders get to review the final version before publishing.

There is no more – I didn’t’ know – and in the case that someone wasn’t consulted or informed, the Accountable person for that step needs to take measures so that it doesn’t happen again.

If a step wasn’t executed properly, the team knows to raise this with the accountable person, who is clearly responsible to take action and rectify rather than take that complaint around half the company to resources that have no power or remit to do anything about it.

Important Note: Whilst you may have several people under Informed, responsible to consulted, you should only have one person under accountable.

Conclusion

As we’re drawing to the close of this series, you will see that this step and any remaining steps are there to tighten up the process, so as to avoid pitfalls during actual process execution at a later stage. Keep tuned for the last 3 posts.

Image Credit: unsplash-logoViktor Kern

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