Responsibility Charting is a dynamic productivity tool that has many uses. For example, a government agency with a reputation for substandard performance was assigned a new director who was determined to turn things around. A productivity study disclosed that the average staff person spent nearly 40 percent of each day in meetings trying to correct inaccuracies created by people from other departments. Much of the meeting time was spent shifting blame, finding fault, and pointing fingers at others who could not explain or defend their actions because they were not in attendance.
The director made a bold decision to suspend all staff meetings and directed them instead to use Responsibility Charting to define, align, and assign roles, relationships and responsibilities before any action was taken.
It was not long before the entire staff stopped wasting time trying to figure out who was supposed to do what and instead enjoyed a fruitful period of high performance teamwork. Within 18 months they raised their statewide ranking among 58 comparative agencies from 53rd to 1st and received national recognition for their achievement.
In addition to defining who is on the team and what task he or she is to perform, Responsibility Charting helps keep track of the status of each task. It can also be used to evaluate team member contributions to each stated outcome. For example, someone who has performed well in a consulting [C] role on several tasks could be ready to assume full responsibility [R] on a task that is coming up. This is a good way to train potential Doers to accept more responsibility and to get them to appreciate the benefits of collaboration.
Because Responsibility Charting provides the structure for building teams, it is very helpful when launching a new venture or getting a derailed project back on track. Gathering those involved in a project to chart each task, can clear up misunderstandings, misinformation, and miscommunication. Responsibility Charting is truly a marvelous tool in its simplicity and effectiveness.