I’ve been taking on more responsabilities within my company in the past year. 👊 Still programming and building cool stuff but I get to do other things like coach juniors, lead a developer community and organize events. It’s that last one which recently exposed a weakness of mine: Stakeholder management. 😕
The organization of the event seemed to go smoothly in my opinion. However as time progressed, it became apparent I was missing something. I forgot to involve quite some people and those I did involve, I sometimes forgot to keep in the loop. Some of those people came up to me and said: “Hey, why didn’t you involve me in this?". 😯 Not a great feeling for either of us.
This wasn’t good! I apologized to all people involved and tried to find a way to avoid this awkward situation in the future. A colleague pointed me to a RACI Matrix as valuable tool to avoid these issues. Let’s have a short look at it.
Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed (RACI)
When your project has different tasks to be completed, different stakeholders will be involved but not all of the stakeholders are involved in the same way for every task.
Let’s give a practical example. Imagine you are hosting a public event for Java Software Developers and you need to promote the event. 👇
- A marketeer could be responsible for executing a marketing strategy;
- That same marketeer might also be accountable for this task, or it could be their Lead Marketeer who is ultimatly accountable;
- In order to properly connect with the audience, some Java developers within the company might be consulted, just to check the technical details of the event;
- Finally, there might be some managers who would at least like to be informed about such events happening inside the company;
Having clear the who (stakeholder), how (RACI) and what (task) at the very start can avoid forgetting to include people at important moments of a project.
TMI/TLDR: Visualize it in a matrix!
Flat text like the 4 items above are boring and hard to read, as there are 2 ways you might want to read this kind of information.
- From the perspective of a stakeholder: “What tasks am I involved with, and at what level?"
- From the perspective of the task: “Who is involved in completing this task?"
Visualizing it as a matrix allows us to easily get both of those perspectives.
Next time I feel like I’m going to lose track of Stakeholders, a RACI matrix will be one of the first things I’ll be making.
If only I’d had this / known about it when I started organizing the event. It would have:
- 👉 given a nice overview to consult;
- 👉 made me more focussed on who/what/when;
- 👉 shown how complex the organisation of an event can be (ex: Marketing, Recruitment, Quality Content, …);
It’s soo obvious how this can be useful but sometimes when we get a new role, we are Unknowingly Incapable in certain aspects. I’m glad to have joined the Knowingly (In)capable and hope that this information might be of use to you as well!
Still have much to learn about how to deal with these “no-code-responsabilities” and I’ll make more mistakes. When I run into another one of my blind spots in the future, you’ll find a blog post about it, right here on this website.
I hope you’ll enjoy my collection of failures and how I’m trying to avoid those failures in the future. I guess that’s called growth? 🙃
Until the next time...lots of 💖