A DACI matrix is the best tool to make quick and efficient decisions in any project. We’ll tell you why and offer 5 tips to help you create one.
Project managers are often the “measure twice, cut one” type. What happens when the project becomes stressful, confusing, or there’s a high demand to move quickly? It’s impossible to measure out a solution twice, as decisions (or the “cut”) must be made quickly. How effective is a PM at managing this?
You can bet that they would have prepared a DACI matrix prior to the project’s start.
If you don’t know what DACI is, this article will help you. (But, if you already love the tool and use it regularly, then you have your mind mapped.
This article will discuss the DACI decision-making process used in project management. We’ll also give you five tips to create a successful matrix.
What is a DACI decision making framework?
A DACI matrix (also known as a DACI diagram or DACI framework) is a diagram that identifies key roles and responsibilities for stakeholders and project team members in each major task of a project. The DACI matrix is a visual representation that shows the functional roles played by each member of a project team. This responsibility assignment matrix can be used to get support for a project’s agreed-upon decision-making process.
Let’s be clear: A DACI matrix does not represent a project plan.
The DACI matrix does not assign work or establish timelines. It should not be used as the project plan. The scope (i.e., the high-level list expected deliverables), project timeline and how the project will be managed will be defined in your project plan. The DACI chart is a chart that shows the participation type and roles in each major project task.
What is DACI?
DACI stands for Driver, Accountable, consulted, and Informed. Each letter represents the participation role for an individual or group in the respective task/milestone. Let’s take a look at the definitions of each DACI role.
This is the person responsible for driving the task and performing the actual work. *
Note: The R in RACI stands for “responsible” which is the same as the D in DACI.
The person responsible for the success of the task. They are also the final decision-maker. Usually, the product manager. *
For more information or details about requirements, contact the people to whom you need to speak. The person (or team of people) to be consulted is usually a subject matter expert (SME).
Senior leadership is the most important person to keep informed about major updates. Emails are the main communication method.
*Pro tip: Limit the D and A roles to one person whenever possible to avoid confusion and slow decision making.
Five tips to create a strong DACI matrix
Let’s look at some tips to help project managers create a DACI model matrix that is effective.
1. Don’t get too granular
The matrix is not the project plan. The tasks and roles that are identified should not be daily, weekly or monthly tasks. Instead, you should focus on the major milestones that will require a decision or approval.
Pro tip: Don’t use the same matrix for every project. Do not use the same matrix for each project.
Although the DACI template and framework can be reused to encourage standardization across multiple project types, each project requires its own matrix. Each project is unique and each project has its own matrix.
3. Be consistent
It is important to understand that the purpose of a DACI matrix, which is to establish clear participation levels for project decisions, is essential.