Why should you consider using a RACI chart and approach to important projects or system changes? While is it is important to involve employees from all levels of a company by providing training and involving them in projects one must understand the drawbacks with too much employee involvement.
The drawback of involving many different people from all levels of the company in a project is the potential for conflicts in authority and responsibility. These conflicts can lead to unclear accountability between individuals or departments, duplication of effort in work, work that is delayed or incomplete, little accountability for program results and lack of committed resources.
To help prevents conflicts between team members and confusion about responsibility one can use the RACI Chart tool to help establish what needs to be done and who must do it.
Responsibility – This person or role is expected to do the work
Accountability – This person or role is held responsible for creating results
Consultation – This person has the expertise in or authority over the process that requires that they be consulted before the final decision is made
Inform – These people are affected by the activity or decision so they must be informed after the decision is made
The RACI chart brings clarity and order to a project by first identifying the functional role of the participants and then listing the actions or decisions in the quality improvement process.
Each functional role in the process is assigned an expectation of responsibility, accountability, consultation or informing. One functional role is assigned accountability for each activity; this assignment ensures that one person is committed to producing results and decreases conflict between different roles.
It helps a project to be successful by establishing who will govern the process and ensure the resources are allocated. This consistent leadership ensures that new projects can be implemented to extend improvement throughout the company.
It also ensured that one sends the ability to act and accountability as far down the ranks as possible. The employees who understand the process best tend to be those who work with the process every day and are generally several levels removed from the executive team.
An organization that plans its projects around the RACI chart can help avoid conflicts, which brings a greater efficiency to project teams and instills process improvement into the company.