If your projects are anything like a standard project, you’ll have at least one time where you follow up a team member on a deliverable (often when it’s late) and they’ll say to you “Oh, I didn’t realise you were waiting on ME for that”. This can wreak havoc on your schedule and can have a negative impact on your relationship with the relevant team member.
There are some obvious tactical things you can do as a project manager to avoid such a scenario. Emails to confirm your expectations on what’s to be delivered and when, actions registers, and task tracking software are some of the usual ways that this can be done. They work, most of the time, which is why they’re still used. But they do, on occasion, fall in to a communications vortex where the fact that a message has been sent doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s received and / or understood.
To get around this issue, consider using a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI) matrix to track the deliverables on your project.
What is a RACI Matrix?
The PMBOK 5th Edition lists a Responsibility Assignment Matrix as “A grid that shows the project resources assigned to each work package”. This is short and to the point. But I’ll go ahead and give you a little more meat than this.
A RACI Matrix is a way for you to list all of the deliverables on your project and indicate:
- Which team members are Responsible for doing the work (this is the R in RACI)
- Which team member is Accountable for ensuring that the deliverable is completed (A)
- Which team members are to be consulted with and provide input to the deliverable (C )
- Which team members need to be kept informed on progress and the completion of the deliverable (I)
Here’s an example of a RACI Matrix that I did for one of my current projects:
The key step to ensuring that a RACI fulfills your needs is to ensure that everybody on it (in my example, Resource1 etc.) reviews it, asks pertinent questions, understands what they’re responsibility is and finally signs off on their role in each deliverable.
Stay tuned for part 2!