Thursday, June 4, 2015

That's Not My Job

But I thought you were making the salad!  - Everyone, at some time or another.

Citizen Editor is pleased to see that Meatloaf? It's as Easy as 1-2-...   is consistently a top hit, which alerts him that project management is no stranger to staffed estates. Or, are people just looking for another meatloaf recipe? He'll never know.

A familiar scene on your estate?
Moving beyond the ease of keeping the three main ingredients of any project, that of time, quality, and money, within the context of tiny-to-small-to-big-to-OMG-it's-an-entire-estate-renovation... it's now time to introduce gentle Citizen readership to the RACI (conveniently pronounced "racy") concept, that which is often skipped over in PM both large and small, simply because it's often handled rather informally at all stages of the project. Yet, when not handled at all or adequately, it can cause quite a stir in the pot - and not the kind which ultimately serves a good tasting dish to our principals.

Each project team member knowing (and... agreeing to... in advance) their roles and responsibilities (i.e., one's "job") is truly critical - and how you, as the team/project leader determine to handle that task - will be up to you and what works best in your team culture, yet may I humbly suggest to formalize the process just a bit, putting your recipe for success in writing. Stodgy as it sounds, after you do it once or twice, you and the team will realize it's really a lot of fun because it splays right out there for everyone to see in black and white who is doing what, which is, IMHO, almost as fun as reading the Gantt chart, itself (a polite, lowercase lol added here for effect... !).

But, back now to our delicious meatloaf scenario, just think about your housekeeper, the one who has graciously volunteered to work overtime in order to help make the principals' meatloaf soiree tonight a soaring and juicy success: was he the responsible one, being the team member who would actually procure the ingredients and toss them to perfection? Or, was he accountable for total delivery of the salad course - whoever was purchasing or designing the masterpiece made just to order - as the principals are known to enjoy? Perhaps he was both! Or, perhaps he was neither, yet was consulted about the ingredients and where to best obtain them - as he'd worked on the estate longer than anyone and he is often relied upon to know the infinite details of what is, and isn't, preferred by the Mister.  Or, perhaps he was simply informed about the salad, as he would most likely be the one serving it at the table and must know each specific ingredient in order to address inquiry for both family and guests?
There's no confusion here.

These are the ingredients themselves which will make up your own RACI chart at the beginning of the project - providing tasty clarification of who does what and letting all team members know that a successful estate project of any size is more than just the series of interlocking steps and critical path toward a delicious event, but just as important - organizing the duties themselves among the part of the project which will always be the most important - your team members, themselves!

Making a RACI chart.... if you're the project manager.... well, now that's your job!

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