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Assigning Responsibility

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Assigning responsibilities in your organization can be more effective if you utilize one of the best practice systems that have been developed - a checklist approach. These approaches are best practices that have been devised to go beyond basic delegation in a more thorough and systematic process. These best practices are especially useful when multiple people in the organization are involved in the work or project and projects become more complex over a longer period of time.


[edit] RACI

RACI is an acronym that is derived from the four key responsibilities most typically used in assigning responsibilities: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

  • Responsible: person who performs an activity or does the work.
  • Accountable: person who is ultimately accountable and has Yes/No/Veto.
  • Consulted: person that needs to feedback and contribute to the activity.
  • Informed: person that needs to know of the decision or action.

A RACI matrix describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process. It is especially useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional/departmental projects and processes. These roles can be viewed as a checklist or set of questions that should be addressed each time you set up an activity or project in the organization. They should be written down and shared with each person in the organization to facilitate their job.

[edit] MOCHA

MOCHA is a variation derived from RACI according to its creator, The Management Center, which specializes in assisting nonprofits. They identify five roles in the assignment of responsibilities that need to be clearly defined in the organization for a specific project or activity.

  • Manager - Assigns responsibility and holds owner accountable. Makes suggestions, asks hard questions, reviews progress, serves as a resource, and intervenes if the work is off-track.
  • Owner - Has overall responsibility for the success or failure of the project. Ensures that all the work gets done (directly or with helpers) and that others are involved appropriately. There should only be one owner.
  • Consulted - Should be asked for input or needs to be bought in to the project.
  • Helper - Available to help do part of the work.
  • Approver - Signs off on decisions before they’re final. May be the manager, though might also be the executive director, external partner, or board chair.

[edit] Related Best Practices

[edit] Other Resources

  • Wikipedia – has more detailed information on RACI and similar systems
  • The Management Center - provides a more in depth discussion on MOCHA
  • Projectsmart – provides a detailed discussion on utilizing RACI, developing a RACI matrix and other project management resources

[edit] Author

The author of this article is Terry Gardiner.

Terry Gardiner is the founder and President of Silver Lining Seafoods and NorQuest Seafoods - a medium size Alaska seafood processing companies; and currently Board member of the Anvil Corporation, an employee owned company specializing in oil and gas engineering.

His co-operative experiences include member director of the Commercial Fishermen Co-operative association; creation of legislation for the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank; and advisor to the US Dept of Health and Social Services for the state Health CO-OPs.

Terry served ten years as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives -several legislative committee chairmanships, Speaker of the House, Chairman of the Alaska Criminal Code Commission and board member on various state and federal boards and commissions.

His non-profit experiences include National Policy Director for the Small Business Majority in Washington DC; working with the Herndon Alliance and ForTerra.

Terry authored the leadership book, "Six-Word Lessons to Build Effective Leaders: 100 Lessons to Equip Your People to Create Winning Organizations".

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