Make sure your people understand roles and responsibilities. Miscommunication and keeping people in the dark is probably one of the ongoing challenges for any leader. When you have projects, let’s assume that project is going to do something very important for your organization and you’ve got the right people on the project. You may too, say as a leader, “Job well done. This is going to work.” Not so much. What I have found over the last 30 years, and the reason for this rule is because when people don’t really understand what role they play, what are they supposed to be doing, what are the expectations, and what is my participation going to do in this project? If you can answer those types of questions, then people feel empowered. They feel like they’re part of a bigger project, versus just doing a small little two-day thing where they don’t know where it fits until the overall project.
They’d rather spend the two days on a project and know that is a bigger piece of a project that’s going to impact the company. That’s motivating, that’s exciting. When I have my head down, and I’m pumping out a report that I don’t know what it’s for, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with it. You don’t get the most of me. You don’t get me excited. You don’t have the total conviction that this form is correct because I don’t even know what it’s correct about. You have to share information. You’ve got to paint that picture, you’ve got to do all those things necessary.
What we have found in order to motivate your sales force, or any team, to make sure there’s 100% pure clarity, everybody knows what their role is, what they’re supposed to be doing, why they’re supposed to be doing it, we use an acronym called RACI. R stands for “who’s responsible?” That means who’s responsible for the actual work to be done. That’s not the person that delegates everything, that’s the person who is doing. You may have, in a big project, multiple people who are responsible for different parts.
A is accountable. Who’s ultimately accountable to make sure this gets done? These are the people who may not be doing. Maybe they’re senior execs, but ultimately, people are going to go to them and congratulate them if it goes well. They’re also going to say, “Why didn’t it go well?”
Consulted are those who you are really going to them and saying, “Hey, what about this solution? How do you feel about this?” These tend to be stake holders within the organization. These tend to be people who have experience. These tend to be people sometimes that are either users or senior execs. Sometimes if they hear something that doesn’t match their expectations they have the ability to shut down a project because the ripple effect would cause something with an unintended consequence that they did not want. Now, that doesn’t mean every person on the consulted chart has that much power, but often you’ll find that the consulted are the quiet giants in the organization. They don’t want to do, they don’t want to be responsible, but they want to be in the know, and give you feedback on how you can help their stove pipe.
Finally, Informed are the group of people that you’re going to give updates on your progress and what’s going on. They tend to be one sided updates. We give that group the information so they can start to plan their part of a roll out. If they hear something that is completely at disconnect they have the ability, and time, to come back to you and say, “We’re off track.”
What I have found is RACI is totally clarity for those that are on the job. You allow people to be self-sufficient, you allow people to work very closely with each other. You have a much better project; you have a much better work stream. Your company benefits as a whole, but then equally as important you get 100% of my ability as a team member. When people don’t understand their role, and they don’t understand what value they have to the company it’s tough to get motivated. This chart, RACI, we use every single time. When we don’t, we always run into trouble. We always build what we think is the greatest thing, whatever that thing is, only to find out we never conferred with the right groups, and we never informed anybody, so we never actually knew that we were off track.
It’s like a plane. Who is very excited about landing after a 16-hour flight right when they land in Australia? That sounds awesome, except that they never consulted, or informed those other groups of people who thought that they were landing in, let’s say, Japan. Great landing, unfortunately, the wrong spot. That’s an over exaggeration, but the fact of the matter is that happens in each and every one of our organizations every single day. Why don’t you RACI to the finish line by using a communication tool that will help you take your game to the next level?