Work smarter for animals and people.

Use this simple tool. 

Nov 30, 2017   By: Amielle DeWan

How many times have you started a meaningful project only to find that you or your team are frustrated by unclear roles and responsibilities, lack of delegation, or confusion around who is making decisions?  We have all been there.  No matter how meaningful or impactful a project can be for people and animals, these issues can slow down the efficiency of a team and lead to staff discouraged about their role in achieving their organizations’ mission.  

The RACI tool can help you solve this problem easily, and with a limited investment in time and resources.  RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) is a responsibility assignment matrix that may have been first developed by NASA (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and has been used and shared since the 1970s.  Although it has been around for almost 50 years, many conservation and animal welfare organizations are not aware of this simple tool.

How do you use it?

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  1. Bring your project or stakeholder team together and brainstorm all of the relevant activities needed to complete for a project and by when.
  2. Identify who needs to be Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed for each activity, using the guidance and definitions above.
  3. Estimate the budget and resources needed to complete the activity.
  4. Review and adjust any timelines and responsibilities

This tool can be applied in a variety of contexts and scenarios to improve project management and performance, and the teams we have trained have realized how easy, helpful and fun it can be to use! 

Download a RACI template here

Take the Niassa Carnivore Project (NCP) which does incredible work to build sustainable “lion friendly” communities, by working in close collaboration with the Mozambican RMA, local community members, and tourism operators. We recently trained NCP Director Dr. Colleen Begg on how to use the RACI tool as part of the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Expo Workshops.  We were excited to hear that the training was so useful, that she taught NCP managers how to do RACI for some of their important projects, including “Lion fun days” and their work in new areas.   Dr. Begg says:

"It really helped our team focus on the small details and keep track of where they were. There is an element of peer pressure to get things done as chart was in a public place and everyone crossed off their own activities as the date came nearing… it was great to encourage collaboration and team work to get something done. The fun days have a thousand small details that need to be remembered so this really helped…I am sure we will continue to use RACI in the future”

C. Begg, Niassa carnivore project

C. Begg, Niassa carnivore project

We have seen teams experience a number of similar benefits from using the RACI tool, including:

  • Improved transparency in activities and decision-making
  • Empowered team leaders with clarity in roles and responsibilities
  • Increased satisfaction in team and project work
  • Improved efficiency in completing project tasks and goals

Download our RACI guidance, try it, and let us know how it works for you!

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