In many projects we’ve used the RACI Matrix to categorize responsibilities, but we’ve observed some disadvantages. Therefore I searched for another possibility and found the delegation cards,
established by Jurgen Appelo (Management 3.0).
The RACI matrix is used to describe who is responsible for what. RACI is an acronym derived from the four key
responsibilities: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.
- R – Responsible: Those who do the work to achieve the task.
- A – Accountable: Those who are ultimately accountable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task. Usually
the accountable person needs to sign-off the work provided.
- C – Consulted: Those who can help with their knowledge. These are experts whose opinions are important. They are consulted in a
- I – Informed: Those who are kept up-to-date on progress and status, often only in a one-way communication.
For a task only one person (role) should be accountable. More then one person could be assigned to a task as
responsible, consulted or informed. Also it could happen that one person is accountable and responsible for one task.
With the delegation poker the model is extended. Therefore it’s easier to make clear who’s responsible for what and
to what level. Usually if we used the RACI matrix, we haven’t discussed much about the assignments – it was more or less clear. With the delegation poker there are more possibilities and the
team is encouraged to discuss with the (project) manager / delegator and to think about their roles and responsibilities.
The 7 levels are defined from a delegator perspective:
- Tell: You as the manager make the decision and communicate it.
- Sell: You make the decision but you try to persuade others to buy into it.
- Consult: You consult the team and get input before you make the decision.
- Agree: You make a decision together as a team.
- Advise: Your team makes the decision, but you try to influence it with your advise.
- Inquire: Your team makes the decision and then tells you about it.
- Delegate: You delegate it completely to the team, don't influence the team and let the team work it out.
Creating a delegation map
- Flip chart paper for the wall,
- Sticky notes, pens,
- Enough sets of delegation poker cards (one apiece),
- A Flip Chart with the delegation levels and short explanations.
- Introduce the delegation levels and the idea of creating a delegation map to the team.
- Do with the team a brainstorming to identify the delegator and the “delegated” roles (Examples: Delegator: Project Manager; Delegated: Consultants, Developers,
Customer). Write the identified roles on sticky notes.
- Do with the team a brainstorming about the tasks to be considered (Examples: Specification writing, development, configuration, translation, creating of training
materials). Write the tasks on sticky notes.
- If you’ve identified lots of tasks, group the tasks and define headings together with the team (Examples: Project preparation, training, testing)
- Tag 1-4 flip charts (dependent on the number of tasks and roles) to the wall. Place the tasks as lines one under the other (in a grouped order) on the left side on
the wall. Place the sticky notes with roles as columns.
- How people perceive their individual roles and required tasks become much clearer.
- When people know exactly what is expected of them, it’s easier for them to complete their work to the best of their ability.
- Everybody feels more involved because there is place for reasoning.
- It gets clear what “delegation” really means: In the RACI Matrix often somebody is “responsible”, but the level of authority to decide is not clear.
More information about delegation poker and a free download of the cards can be found here: https://management30.com/product/delegation-poker