How often have you and your fellow marketers complained about the lack of sales help in your marketing efforts? From help to drive attendance at your events to the usage of your content and collateral, for marketing campaigns to be their most effective, sales participation is critical. Yet, too often marketers silo the strategy, planning and execution of their campaigns outside sales’ purview. Although this is common, in our research around meaningful sales and marketing alignment, we found that companies growing faster do something very different. They plan sales enabled marketing campaigns together.
As a project manager, planning comes easily to me. I’ve been fortunate to work with hundreds of marketing and sales teams to bring structure to the chaos of these complex, ever-changing departments. Knowing how much marketers love a good acronym, today I want to share with you the RACI. I’ve seen the most success with this structure and want to share my lessons learned in using it.
What is a RACI?
Wikipedia refers to the RACI chart as, “A responsibility assignment matrix, also known as RACI matrix or linear responsibility chart, describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process.”
- Responsible: Person who does the work to complete the task.
- Accountable: Person who delegates the work. This person is the last to review the task or deliverable before it is considered complete.
- Consulted: The person or parties who provide input/feedback based on how the work will impact their future project work or their area of expertise on the deliverable itself.
- Informed: The person or parties who need to be updated on project progress. This role does not get brought into every detail of the project.
Practical Rules for Creating a RACI
As you begin to create your first RACI, you will undoubtedly have questions. Follow these simple rules when creating your RACI and avoid spinning your wheels wondering whether or not you are putting it together correctly.
- Every task requires at least one responsible party and it is completely possible to have more than one person responsible for the same task
- A responsible party can also act as the accountable party
- You cannot have more than one accountable party for each task. This is so important. If you have more than one, decision-making becomes a blocker, because, remember, the accountable person is the final sign-off
- If you find yourself simply unable to do this, think about breaking the task into more granular definitions. This typically solves the issue
- Be cognizant of how many “responsible” tasks you have assigned to one person. Avoid overloading any given person
- Every team member has a role on each task. If your team is large, you’ll find you have quite a few parties listed as “informed”
- If you have a lot of Consulted and Informed roles on your chart, make sure you have an easy and direct way to keep them updated that doesn’t create a lot of work for either party
RACI Example for Sales Enabled Campaigning
The easiest way to explain how this all comes together is to see an example. Below you’ll find a small section of a campaign planning RACI worksheet. This particular type of campaign requires that 45 responsibilities be outlined as part of the campaign planning phase. Note, you don’t start with this step. Our methodology for campaign management is explained in detail in this blog about creating the ultimate campaign playbook.
In the above example, Scott is the executive marketing leader, Bob is the executive sales leader and the rest of the folks are on the marketing project team, with Stacy (ahem, that’s me!) as the project manager and outsourced creative lead.
Beyond Sales Enabled Marketing Campaigns
Hopefully you see how valuable RACI can be for enabling sales, but a RACI can be used in various circumstances in your professional life. If you’re wondering where and when, I’ve found RACI particularly helpful in these use cases:
- There is conflict about task ownership or decision-making
- You have resources that are over allocated
- When needing to speed-up approvals by streamlining communication
- Mitigating a single point of failure or frustration over working in silos
- When a person or parties are overruling processes or decisions
There you have it folks! Executing to a project doesn’t have to be rocket science if you take the first step and create roles and responsibilities. Believe me, if you spend the time upfront putting together a RACI chart, you will immediately be setting yourself up for success and your project team will thank you for smooth execution. Or at least what can be smooth until the first change in requirements, am I right?! Now go RACI away my friends into a better planning process.
Meet Stacy Smith
Stacy Smith brings a competitive and knowledgeable attitude to an impressive LeadMD team. She has gained extensive techniques and qualities over the years while working in a wide variety of industries to perfect her Project Management skills. Her passion for organizing situations, events and teams comes from a long background of sports and community service where the end result was to accomplish growth and the internal/external well-being of others. Stacy prides herself on getting the job done and getting it done correctly, while remaining upbeat and having a humorous attitude. Too often, you can hear Stacy butchering an everyday common saying. These quirks make her human, trusting and a valuable asset to the LeadMD team. In her personal life, Stacy enjoys anything involving sports. She was a three-sport athlete in high school and accepted a scholarship to play NAIA college softball. She is also a huge traveler and loves visiting all locations that the world has to offer. If she is not traveling, you can find her cooking, hiking or spending time with her family, friends and dogs.