Transform Your Responsibility Matrix Into a GANTT Chart


Create a GANTT chart when the discussion or meeting deliverable focuses on WHO is responsible for WHAT; aka, Responsibility Matrix or Roles & Responsibilities (see below). The person that steps up to accept ‘Responsibility’ is likely the best person to have a clue about estimating WHEN something may be completed, HOW MUCH extra money may be required to complete it, and the HOW MUCH estimated labor (FTE) is required.

When the session leader records these four inputs (responsible party, approximate cash or assets required, estimated due date, and how much approximate labor), the project manager and project team have the basis for a GANTT chart—lacking only the arranging of precedents and antecedents, and making adjustments to the first estimates provided. Not only has the facilitator enabled the team to draft its GANTT chart, they have also helped the team to build a consensual view, not a myopic view from one person’s office or cubicle.

The WHAT actions or assignments may take the form of strategies, initiatives, programs, projects, activities, or tasks. As you increase the resolution from the abstract (eg, strategy) to the concrete (eg, task), expect to increase the resolution of the role or title of the responsible agent. For example, strategies may be assigned to business units while tasks may be assigned to individuals.

We are now aware of at least twelve (12) different flavors of the Responsibility Matrix.  While we support any may be effective in your culture, beware of the “C” as in consult because the term is a contronym and one can never be certain if assigned a “C” if they are giving you something or you are supposed to give them something. Here are the documented types, and undoubtedly there are many others:

  1. RACI, (Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Informed),
  2. RACIA, (Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Informed, Approve),
  3. RASI, (Responsible, Accountable, Supports, Informed),
  4. RASCI, (Responsible, Accountable, Supports, Consult, Informed),
  5. PARIS,
  6. ALRIC,
  7. RASCIO (ResponsibleAccountable, Consult, Informed, Omitted),
  8. LACTI (Lead, Approve, Consulted, Tasked, Informed),
  9. AERI (Accountable, Endorsement, Responsible, Informed)
  10. ARCI (Accountable, Responsible, Consult, Informed),
  11. RACI-V
  12. CAIRO

Let us know what you think by commenting below. For additional methodology and team-based meeting support for your change initiative, refer to “Change or Die, a Business Process Improvement Manual” for much of the support you might need.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

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About Terrence Metz
Biographic Sketch — Terrence Metz Since the end of 1999, Terrence Metz has been a founding principal partner and vice president at Morgan Madison & Company. For over twenty years, through professional and academic endeavors, Terrence has focused on improving group decision-making. His experience has proven that two important components to effective group decision-making are: 1. Higher quality information assures higher quality decisions, 2. Properly managed conflict, generates more “options” to consider—
and groups with more options are proven to make higher quality decisions. Terrence is passionate about using and teaching the FAST Facilitative Leadership Training technique so that people and teams make more informed decisions. Terrence is the lead instructor and primary curriculum developer for MG Rush Performance Learning. He earned his Six Sigma Green Belt® from Motorola University and wrote most of the existing FAST curriculum. Terrence made the FAST technique more robust by adding and enhancing decision-making tools such as PowerBalls and the FAST quantitative SWOT technique that is used worldwide by Fortune 1000 companies. He introduced the concept of holism to the field of structured facilitation as a method for keeping discussions on target and aligning deliverables throughout an organization. Since 1999, Terrence has taught over two hundred classes. With a Baccalaureate in Science from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and a MBA from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on product/ process development and innovation. Terrence has a P&L background in capital goods markets with highly engineered-products and services (eg, Honeywell). He is an expert group facilitator, instructor, and developer of workflow processes and Voice of the Market inputs that accelerate commercial success. His engagements have included strategic development, business planning, problem-solving, continuous improvement, organizational design, process design and improvement, customer cognitivity workshops, and market-based product development and launch. His book "Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual" from CRC Press was published internationally in 2012. Terrence completed additional graduate work in inter-cultural decision-making processes at Marquette University, is a former board member of the Product Development Managers’ Association, and a long-time member of the IAF (International Association of Facilitators), MFNA (Midwest Facilitators Network Association), TMAC (Technology Management Association of Chicago) and WFS (World Future Society). Most importantly, Terrence is an effective listener and equally adept at teaching FAST classes as well as galvanizing consensus around complex issues for organizations and groups.

22 Responses to Transform Your Responsibility Matrix Into a GANTT Chart

  1. I would agree that the preparation of a Gantt chart comes after initial planning activities. All too often I see the project manager preparing “the plan” (Gantt chart) when they’re not best placed to do so. Whilst I use the RACI matrix—responsible, accountable, consulted, informed—I hadn’t considered its use during this early stage. I omitted the “who” in a recent post on project planning. I’ll have to revisit this.

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  3. The challenge I have always had with the “C” as in Consults is that the verb “to consult” is a contronym, and I can never be certain when a role is assigned a “C” if we are giving them something or they are giving us something. With “S” or Supports and “I” or Informed, it’s always clear. An “S” gives us something; ie, Support. We give the “I” something; ie, keep them Informed. However, I think the greater preponderance, and the Accenture-backed method, is to use the “C” for Consults.

  4. I interpret this as consulting with the particular stakeholder group, i.e. to get or seek advice from someone. It is the person who is responsible (R) for a task to consult (C.) I think the purpose of consulting is to learn from the other person; therefore they are giving us something. If I consult my financial advisor I do so to because I want to be better informed. Of course, the expert will also need understanding of my circumstances before providing best advice. Therefore it is very important that the correct people are consulted as their knowledge can have a direct bearing on the success or failure of a project.

  5. It would seem then that a (C) is expected to both receive and provide information. To me, that makes sense if the (C) is a person, but as role, unless it is exclusively reserved for outside consultants, I would assign to roles and not people. However, (S) implies (I) meaning that all who Support should also be Informed so then I still fail to see the value of a (C) unless its an outside and what we inform them is selective. Maybe that’s it—are we talking about (C) being special or different because they should be Informed selectively? To me your financial advisor is an (S) and to perform effectively, they must be an (I) by default.

  6. I think you have to view RACI from a fixed point, e.g. a project. The project manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. Whereas the sponsor is accountable for the intended benefits the project creates. The project manager needs to consult stakeholders so that he is better informed. This could be technical experts to help with estimating or solutions design, business managers who will benefit from the project, or potential users of the new service. The project manager will also need to keep various parties informed. For instance, IT service management, service users, other projects etc.

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  12. Wade says:

    I have heard that Gantt charts enable users (software developers, for example) to visualize and schedule tasks, activities and events in their own software applications in a flexible way. However, I am starting to become a little underwhelmed by the concept. I am discovering that it does not even do the basic task of sorting topics and sub topics in Gantt view unless I assign priorities. Any help would be appreciated!

    • The Gantt chart is essentially a schedule plan that provides information about sequence, duration and resources. Priority is implied; the schedule shows dependencies and the order in which work should be completed. A Gantt chart is only as good as the effort put into the planning. You may wish to read my post Why Plan?

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