top of page

RACI for Delegation

RACI for Delegation

RACI for Delegation

Use this framework to improve productivity

Delegation is one of the oldest management tools. It is the instruction by somebody to do a job. Delegation is the means by which we can scale up our efforts. Working on our own we are limited by time. By involving other people we can be far more productive.

Little or no training is offered in the art of delegation though in truth, we have been subjected to it from a very early age. When our mum asks us to pick up groceries on our way home from school, she is delegating a task. She has determined an objective (to pick up groceries), she has made clear when and how to do it (on the way home from school), and she has concluded that we have the right skills. The responsibility for the task exists at two levels. It is our job to pick up the groceries and it is our mum's job to ensure that we are the right person for the task.

The problem with delegation in business is that some of these basic rules are ignored. Managers may be happy to delegate the lousy jobs and keep the best ones for themselves. The delegation may be given to people incapable of doing the job. The motivation to do a good job, by the person to whom it is delegated, may be low. For these reasons delegation may be seen as abdication, and it will fail.

When delegation works, it offers managers, and their companies, many benefits. The parcelling out of duties leads to greater efficiencies. In theory the manager is freed up to perform more valuable tasks while team members can handle routine work. And, in handling the routine work, the team members develop and polish skills. Everyone learns the importance of time management and how sharing jobs leads to high levels of motivation in the workplace.

There have been many attempts to formalise the delegation task and create delegation frameworks. One of these is the RACI model. The model is an acronym for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.

Responsible: This is the person who either performs the task or instructs someone to do it. In either case there is an important level of responsibility that must be understood.

Accountable: This is the person who has ultimate responsibility for the task. They must own the outcome and be prepared to shoulder responsibility if things go wrong. There should only be one person with this responsibility.

Consulted: These are the people who are involved in the execution of the task but do not have full responsibility for it. Their role is important because they provide input, feedback and expertise in its execution.

Informed: Finally, there are those people who may not be directly involved in the task but have a common interest in it. This interest means that they need to be notified and updated on how things are going.

The strength of the framework is the assignment of roles and the understanding of those roles by the delegate and whoever is doing the tasks. Communication is key because there needs to be clarity as to who has what responsibilities and what is required.

The RACI framework will improve delegation by ensuring tasks are done by the right people whose contributions are acknowledged. In this way workforce teams will run smoother, be more motivated, and increase productivity.

Some things to think about:

  • How good are you at delegation? Do you pass on the jobs you don't want to do and maintain those that you like doing? Are the people you delegate to capable of handling the jobs you pass on?

  • When a job that you have delegated goes wrong, how do you deal with it? Do you accept the blame? Do you work with the person to whom it was delegated to ensure that it doesn't happen again?

Coded buttons

bottom of page