DACI Decision-Making Framework – Useful Guide

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DACI decision-making framework

What is DACI decision making framework? 

DACI Definition

“DACI is a project management framework used to precisely define the people’s roles in that project. DACI is an acronym for Driver, Accountable, Contributor or Consulted, and Informed. These are the specialized roles assigned to project team members.”

DACI is an acronym for driver, accountable, contributor or consulted, and informed, these are the specialized roles assigned to project team members. DACI is a decision-making framework helpful for team projects, in terms of speeding up the pace of the project and eases complex group decision-making processes by the smart distribution of roles and responsibilities among the team members.  

Driver’s role is to drive the decision, Approver makes the final decision, Contributors work is to provide all the necessary information that forms the basis of the decision, and the Informed are outside the core team who may be impacted by the decisions taken in the particular project and thus it is important to keep them updated and ‘informed’ about the decisions. 

It is a quick approach to work on a project, required especially in time-bound situations when the list of tasks is long and deadlines are short. 

The DACI framework is a matrix or a chart that assigns critical roles and responsibilities to the stakeholders and group members of a project. In a way, it visually represents the functional role of every team member associated with the project.

Roles of DACI framework 

Driver 

In the DACI framework, the driver leads the project and takes all the decisions. 

The driver has to manage the teams, supervise meetings, document, coordinate cross-functional teams, manage time. 

Their other responsibilities in DACI include progress tracking and task allotment to get the project done. 

Please note that in the DACI framework, the driver doesn’t have the approval authority, and the driver’s role is that of a project manager. 

Approver 

The approver’s decision in the DACI is the final. 

The approver has the authority to approve or disapprove any decision regarding the project’s aspects, which has to be accepted by the team. 

Contributors 

In the DACI model, the contributors are the ones who influence the team’s decisions. 

These members contribute to the project by providing valuable information, which is the backbone of the decision-making process. 

The team consults them to provide opinions and expert advice to the driver and the approver in DACI.

Informed 

In the DACI model, the informed are those who one must update about all the decisions of the project because one project can have its impact on several other projects or departments when it involves cross-functional teams and complex decision-making. 

To speed up the pace of the project, or we can also say, in situations where too many stakeholders are involved, to prevent too many cooks from spoiling the food, it’s advisable to use the DACI framework.

How to implement the DACI model?

A DACI chart or matrix is used to track the project’s progress. The DACI model is implemented as given:

  • First, split the project into tasks and assign the overall project driver who will head the project. Also, set drivers for each of the functions as well.
  • Now for each task, assign approver(s) and contributors. You can opt for a more extensive project and give the drivers and approvers for a subdivision of functions. 
  • It determines the workflow of the project. The action plan addresses the points of meetings, a compilation of information fetched from contributors, roadmap, and tracking, the inclusion of the informed, decision-making processes to be used, and so on.
  • After following these steps and making the necessary decisions, the team report is submitted to the approver who makes the final decision.
  • The last step is to update the informed about the project’s actions.

Strengths of the DACI framework

So as we know about the DACI, the authority over the decision implementation rests with the approver, and the driver manages project workflow. 

The friction that comes in any kind of group decision-making gets minimized. 

As the authority lies entirely with the approver, it helps in avoiding conflicts and confusion that slows down the project’s pace. 

The segmented roles in DACI cover all the facets of the decision-making process and the project.

Benefits of using the DACI framework 

The main benefit of the DACI decision-making framework or the reason for using it is that it helps in group decision-making and makes the processes and tasks of complex projects simple.

The DACI model enhances the confidence among the members by making the project work easy and understandable. 

DACI supports the contributors in providing genuine feedback and opinions. The process is well-structured in which all the team members take up particular roles. 

The concept of “disagree and commit” in DACI works to move the project forward. If a consensus is not achieved for any decision, the members are committed to following it even if they disagree.

How The DACI Model Helps Groups Make Decisions? 

The following steps in the DACI model facilitate groups to make faster and better decisions.

Step 1

Break the project into smaller tasks and assign each of the drivers with a job: 

Identify the central/main task and then break it into smaller tasks that are easier to manage and handle.

Step 2

Assign tasks to both approver and contributor as well: 

Identify the two major groups of people involved in reaching a decision – approvers and contributors – each responsible for a different set of tasks. Assess tasks and then assign them to these groups of people.

Step 3

Properly define the workflow of the project: 

Design the workflow of the project. What are the various tasks, who should complete what tasks before even beginning the project? These are the questions you need to discuss. 

Step 4

Identify or create tools: 

Tools can be beneficial to track the progress of each task on an ongoing basis. Identify and use appropriate means to ease the job.

Step 5

Confirm whether every task has been appropriately assigned or not: 

Once the duties are assigned, don’t forget to double-check. Ensure that all assignments have been given to approvers and contributors per the project’s workflow.

What Is a DACI Chart?

DACI Chart
DACI Chart

DACI chart is a project management flowchart that looks like a table. 

Each box represents a user who is responsible for specific tasks. 

In DACI:

  • D stands for Driver, who is the leader throughout the project’s life-cycle, and they design the role of the DACI framework.
  • A stands for Approver who approves the decisions.
  • C stands for Contributor, who advises the driver.
  • I stand for Informed. These are the people who need to know the decisions in the framework.

FAQs 

Q: What is a decision-making framework? 

A: Decision frameworks help facilitate decision-making through contextual structures and concepts to blend all the fundamental aspects of the decision like social, legal, and economic aspects. The framework focuses on issue identification, goals, encourages questions that help broaden the mindset of the members working on the project, knowledge building, implementation of analytical methods, linking cross-functional teams and authorities, and measuring the impact of the decisions. 

Q: What is the difference between DACI and RACI models? 

A: DACI is a decision-making framework, whereas RACI is a responsibility assignment model. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and informed. DACI is an advanced form of RACI to address challenges like group decision-making and management of cross-functional teams. RACI focuses more on who will be responsible for any particular task. At the same time, DACI assigns the role of driving the project and approver for making the final decisions. 

Q: What is the Daci Matrix? 

A: The DACI matrix is a template or a chart that represents the key functional roles and responsibilities of the members, such as driver, approver, contributor, and informed, for each of the essential tasks of the project. 

Q. Who invented the DACI Model?

A: DACI originated in the 1980s at Intuit (A software company). It was designed to replace predecessor systems that involved an excess of human interaction.

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