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RASCI model - the responsibility assignment matrix

Posted by priyanka nag on 11:18 AM in ,
In the last few days, both at my workplace as well as while dealing with a few activities around me, I have realized the importance of implementing a better responsibility assignment matrix, to get things done in a less messed up way.

A few months back, during some random conversation, a friend of mine had introduced me to the RASCI model, one of the responsibility assignment matrices.

Wikipedia says that the responsibility assignment matrix 'describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process.' 

In simple words, for any project, if we can divide each person's role and responsibility, it not only ensures a better end product, but also saves the time, otherwise lost in discussions (which organizations like to call as meetings). A RASCI implementation ensures that each person is responsible for only and only the task assigned to him (or her) and will not need to interfere with another person's task, unless asked to do so.

The responsibilities roles of RASCI are:


[1] Responsible - Those who do the work to achieve the task. There is at least one role with a participation type of responsible, although others can be delegated to assist in the work required. In any project, there can be one or more people taking up this role.

[2] Accountable (also approver or final approving authority) - The one ultimately answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task, and the one who delegates the work to those responsible. In other words, an accountable must sign off (approve) work that responsible provides. There must be only one accountable specified for each task or deliverable.

[3] Support - Resources allocated to responsible. Unlike consulted, who may provide input to the task, support help complete the task. People under this role mostly work with the responsible ones to complete the task. They are often not expected to directly deal with the accountable people.

[4] Consulted (sometimes counsel) - Those whose opinions are sought, typically subject matter experts.

[5] Informed - Those who are kept up-to-date on progress, often only on completion of the task or deliverable.




This video really does explain the RACI in a very simplified manner.

Benefits of using RACSI

  • Determines ownership of a particular project or task
  • Promotes teamwork by clarifying roles and responsibilities
  • Improves communication by getting the right groups involved
  • Increases efficiency by eliminating duplication of effort
  • Reduces misunderstanding between and across employees and key stakeholder groups
  • Improves decision-making by ensuring the correct people are involved
  • Provides the foundation for future alignment around a given project or initiative

Steps To Creating A Successful RASCI Chart

  • Identify and list all of the activities/tasks involved in the project down the vertical axis of a chart or spreadsheet.
  • Identify all of the people/roles involved in the project and list them across the horizontal axis or spreadsheet.
  • Identify the R, A, S, C, and I for each activity/task on your vertical axis.
  • Review and discuss gaps or overlaps in your work.

 
Sources -  

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix]

[2] http://www.thecanoegroup.com/470/project-management-6-steps-to-creating-a-successful-rasci-chart/ 

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My first unconference format conference - AdaCamp Bangalore

Posted by priyanka nag on 2:25 AM in , , ,
I have never been to any AdaCamp before this one, just read a lot about it. Thus, I was really excited for my first AdaCamp from almost a month before the commencement of the event. Most importantly, I was responsible to take care of Mozilla's presence at this event. This included helping all the participating Mozillians to get to the city of the event, arrange their accommodation and food and finally make sure that other AdaCampers, who were not aware of Mozilla yet, could also know about this Open Source organization and its different projects.

I met the two AdaCamp organizers, Alex and Suki, for the first time at the reception dinner sponsored by 'Web We Want' on the evening of Friday, 21st November 2014. This was the same place where I also met a lot of other amazing ladies. The most interesting part was, meeting people whom I was already connected with, virtually, but was meeting for the first time.

The next two days were one of the most amazing and learning experiences of my life! This was my first unconference format conference. When I had initially heard about this concept, I was really worried that this might be a very messy process! Not deciding tracks of a conference before hand and deciding them on the day of those sessions, in a very democratic way, involving everyone in the decision making process...really? To my surprise, this was one of the most organized way of making the schedule of a conference, I have ever witnessed. I have been to several meetings where organizers and expert panels would spend hours, deciding, arguing over the structure of an event and its agenda. How we can give participants the power to decide, choose and finalize what they want to both teach and learn from a conference was not only an amazing idea but at AdaCamp Bangalore, it was also an amazingly executed idea!


The schedule of AdaCamp Bangalore, decided by participants

Another woooow moment for me at the AdaCamp was Sumana Harihareswara's session on 'Imposter Syndrome'. I was surprised to see that every woman sitting in that room, attending AdaCamp, agreed at a point that they do suffer from imposter syndrome in some way or the other. The handouts given for this session is something I have preserved to be able to share with my other female colleagues and friends.

Mozilla got to mark a good presence at AdaCamp. All the participating Mozillians, actively proposed several sessions for the two days of the conference and to my surprise, almost all of our sessions got sufficient appreciation and made it to the final schedule. From a generic introduction session to Mozilla and its community to sessions on Firefox OS as well as Webmaker, we did it all. Diwanshi's session on the Art and Craft community of Mozilla was probably the most colorful session of the event where all creative hands got together to create some amazing stuffs. 


Some of the makes of the Art and Craft session at AdaCamp

At AdaCamp, I also learnt the skill to organize and handle 'Lightening talks' better. There were so many other sessions, workshops, lunch discussions where I have not only learnt a lot of new things, have also found so many like minded people, together in one room.

Among all the great things that this event has taught me, a few which I would definitely like to list down are:

[1] While organizing events, we often don't take care of a lot of things. Since we like our beautiful faces to be clicked and published, we ignore the fact that there might be someone who might not enjoy it the same way. At AdaCamp, they take care of everyone's privacy. You get to choose from three different colored lanyards. Based on your preference on being photographed, you could choose to wear a particular colored lanyard. I totally admired this!

[2] Many of us like to blog, tweet or post about events and learning on different social media platforms, without realizing how much we are supposed to say and where the limit should be drawn to not hamper someone else's privacy. At AdaCamp, we were reminded of these factors. I have never been to another conference where everyone's privacy, their freedom was given such importance.

[3] The compliment wall. We all like to be appreciated and during the AdaCamp, we kept being appreciated for two full days. We had a wall where we had initially pinned up a lot of compliments, which we could think of, and later for the next two days, those compliments got down from the wall and reached the deserving person.  


The wall of compliments

I have learnt a lot from AdaCamp and honestly, if I organize events in the future, reflections of those learning will surely show!


The AdaCampers of Bangalore



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Portland coincidental work-week

I will leave my travel adventure out from this blog post cause they are sufficiently interesting to deserve a separate, dedicated post. So, I will jump directly to my experience of this co-incidential work-week at Portland.

On the first day, when I walked into the Portland Art Museum in the morning, I was overwhelmed to see so many known faces and being able to flag a few new faces to their IRC nicks (or twitter handles), whom I was meeting for the first time outside of the virtual world. 



What's your slingshot?

During this one week, I heard a lot of amazing people, from David Slater to Chris Beard, from Mark Surman to Mitchel Baker....too much awesomeness on the stage! The guest speakers on the first day was Brian Muirhead, from NASA who made us realize that even though we were not NASA engineers, and our work was limited to the earthen atmosphere, sometimes the criticality of projects or the way of handling them didn't need to differ much. The second day's guest speaker, Michael Lopp (@rands), was a person I had been following on twitter but never knew his real name or how he looked untill the moring of 3rd of December. The talk about Old guards vs New guards was not only something I could relate to but also had a few very interestig points we could all learn from.

After the opening addresses on both days, I found a comfortable spot with the MDN folks. I knew that under all possible circumstances, these would be the people I would mostly hang-around with for the rest of the week. Well, MDN is undoubtedly my most favorite project among all other possible contribution pathways that I have (or still do) tried contributing to.


We do know how to mark our territory!

Just like most Mozilla work-weeks, this week also had a lot of sticky notes all around, so many etherpads created and a master etherpad to link all the etherpads and a lot of wiki pages! When you know that you are gonna be haunted my sticky notes for at-least the next one week, you can be sure that you had a great workweek and a lot of planning. Plannings around the different contribution metrics for MDN, contribution recognition, MDN events for 2015, growing the community as well as a few technical changes and a few responsibilities which I have committed to and will be trying to complete before the calender changes it reading to 2015....it was a crazy crazy fun week. One important initiative that I am not only interested in being executed by also am willing to jump into in any possible manner is the linking of Webmaker and MDN. To me, its like my two superheros who are planning to work together to save this world!

I didn't spend much time with the community building team this week, other than the last day when I could finally join the group. First and foremost, Allen Gunner is undoubtedly one of the best facilitators I have seem in my life. Half of the session, my focus on his skills and how I could learn a few of them. I am happy to have been able to join the community building team on their concluding day as I got a summary of the week's discussion as well as could help the concluding plans and also make a few new commitments to a few new interesting things that are being planned in the year 2015.

Well, I am not sure if I have been able to do a good job at thanking Dietrich personally for inviting me and hosting me at his place for the fun filled get-together, but I sincerely do confess that I had way more fun at his party than I had expected to. Meeting so many new people there, mostly meeting so many amazing engineerings who are building the new mobile operating system which I not only extensively use but also brag about to my friends, family and colleagues.

A few wow moments -

[1] Seeing @rage outside the twitter world, live infront of me!


[2] Mitchel's talk on how Mozilla acknowledges the tensions created around the last few decisions that went out and her explanation around why and how they were made and were important.


[3] Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' live performance at the mega party.


[4] My first ever experience of trying to 'dance' with other Mozillians. Yes, I had successfully avoided them during the Summit, MozFest and all other previous events in the last 2 years.


[5] The proudest moment for me was probably the meeting of the MDN and the webmaker team. When neither of the teams knew every other member of the other team, I was probably the one person who knew every person in that circle. Having worked very closely with both the teams, it was my cloud nine (++) moment of the workweek to be sitting with all my rock-stars together!

A lot of people met, a lot of planning done, a lot of things learnt and most importantly, a lot of commitments made which I am looking forward to execute in 2015.

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My Portland To-do list

Posted by priyanka nag on 10:03 AM in , ,
My travel to Portland, the city of Roses, is going to start in a few hours. I have always loved being a globetrotter....visiting different places, trying different fun things, meeting a lot of new people...all of it. I am not much of a planner though. I have being to places and gone with the flow. This time, I wanted to do things a little differently. This time, I thought of making a to-do list of all the things I would like to do, see, eat, drink etc in Portland. Everytime I complete executing one task, I will tick it off. Lets see, by the time I am back in India, how many of these items can I get done with!





Action items:



Things to do:

Try out some Voodoo Donuts
Try out some S'more pudding


Check out some alcohol free Portland nightlife (one of them surely is the Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
(Totally missed it)


Things to see:

Portland Art Museum
Powell's City of Books
Portland Audubon
Benson Bubblers


Forest Park
International Rose Test Garden
Multnomah Falls

I am sure this list is going to be modified on the go, as and when I get to explore the city a little more.


P.S. - Ofcourse all of these action items are to be executed only after the work hours of the work-week.




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Building an army around my blog

Posted by priyanka nag on 5:11 AM in , , ,
I am a blogger...someone who likes to share her views and expressions with others by simply putting them in words. But whats a blogger without his (or her) followers and readers? (Well, here I am not talking about those bloggers who maintain private blogs). Followers, readers, criticisms, appreciations...thats what a blogger's world consists of. 

Posting a blog only gives partial satisfaction. When my posts receive comments (positive or negative), thats where the other half of the satisfaction comes from. 

After posting a blog, I have often received emails or facebook messages from readers, wanting to discuss more on the topic. Its probably then that I realized, how important it is, at times, to have a communication platform right on the blog, where the readers and critics could immediately start a conversation about something they like or dislike about the post.

Adding the Scrollback widget to my blogpost was not out of any obligation or commitment towards my job. It was a very selfish decision from my end to be able to communicate better with my readers.


Photo credit : Rahul Kondi

It was after adding the Scrollback widget that my army around my blog got stronger. People started reaching out to me on my Scrollback room, asking me more about why I wrote something, why I felt a certain way (referring to some writing) and sometimes also talking about how they shared similar feelings. All those readers of mine, who would like to talk to me, but wouldn't want to find me on facebook or write a long email, now found a much better way to reach out to me, instantly. I could also reply to them, almost instantly. 

Ofcourse not everyone likes what I write. I even had messages from the 'anonymous' readers, saying how I am doing it all wrong and how I need to think better. Well, even those messages have been helpful....helping see the other side of the coin. I am not a great writer, but I appreciate the criticisms received, which often help me improve.

P.S - If you go through my Scrollback room's chat log, you won't find much content there. Most of the time, when I have a very intense discussion with someone on any topic, I prefer to remove the logs after the conversations so that others don't need to suffer from the impact of those conversations.


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My last two cents to the Mozilla India Community

Posted by priyanka nag on 9:55 AM
This should not be coming as a big surprise to anyone who has seen my last post on Facebook regarding my decision to leave all community activities in Mozilla India. Well, this is a followup on that.

Abiding by my previous decision, here I am, taking a voluntary retirement from all community activities related with the Mozilla India community. I had taken up some responsibility for this year's MozFest and didn't wanna spoil that job for sure.

MozFest has always been awesome...its awesome even now, except the cold war I am unfortunately having to face with my own community people here. I had to set up a Hive India booth at the Maker Party here at MozFest, and I was determined to do it to the best of my capabilities. I had been almost begging my own community members, who are here at the MozFest, to help me plan and execute the session. But, not to my surprise, I received absolutely no help and only ignorance from my entire team here.

Ofcourse I am not forgetting the only rockstar who rescued me and my session today, Umesh Agarwal. I also shouldn't forget to thank Sayak for remotely putting in all the possible help and support to keep me from breaking down into tears, with all the struggles here.

Well, fortunately for all of us, the session didn't go that bad. Umesh and I did manage to grab some attention and engage with the kids during the Maker Party at MozFest'14.


She was making a Halloween card for her mother at our booth

Yes....we helped her decorate her hat

Well...this was probably the best make at our booth

Creativity at its max

Different people...different idea...but we all had a lot of fun

True creative artists at the Hive India booth at Maker Party

Thats Ioana with her vampire teeth


A big thanks to the entire Hive team for giving me the opportunity to represent Hive India here at MozFest this year.

Now that the last responsibility is completed, I would like to peacefully walk out of the community.

p.s - I am definitely not trying to start any revolution here. Nor am I complaining against anyone. Also, I am not leaving Mozilla. I will continue my contribution as a volunteer in all other possible ways. I am just gonna keep myself safely away from all community activities in India.

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Debutsav'14 at God's own country

Kerala...God's own country. I had always wanted to visit it, but never had a chance of being there. One evening, I suddenly received a very unexpected call, inviting me to be a part of Debutsab'14 at Amrita college, Kerala.

The poster of Debutsav'14
Though it was Kerala, I wasn't entirely enthusiastic for this event. I not been keeping too well for the last few days and doctor had strictly asked me to work less and rest more! Attending one more event at this time would definitely mean another hectic trip. But someone, the idea of introducing Scrollback to another community of open source lovers, talking about this awesome project to a new group of people was an idea which I couldn't entirely ignore. After some discussion with the rest of the Scrollback team, I decided to take this event up.

13 hours to reach Ernakulam, 3 hours from there to reach Kayankulam and another 30 mins ride to finally reach Amritapuri...it wasn't a very easy or comfortable journey. But once I reached Amritapuri, I realized that this long trip was totally worth it. Kerala, rightly called God's own country. The campus was beautiful. Backwaters, boats, sea, loads of coconut trees, a very clean beach and a very peaceful environment, the campus had it all.


Amritapuri...an example of true beauty

When I had left for this event, I was really wondering about my next few days. I knew I was not going to be welcomed by too many known faces here! But, once I was there, I realized how like minds often don't need much time to get along. I was meeting almost everyone for the first time, but it didn't feel like so after the initial 5 minutes of the conversations. Sometimes, strangers don't feel strange at all...and that is exactly what happened to me here.

On the first day of the event, I took the stage for some 15 minutes to give a quick demo of Scrollback, so that every participant of the event could use Scrollback as the communication platform during as well as after the event, to keep the network alive. On the second day, I did occupy the podium for a little longer, talking about why Scrollback was built, inspite of having so many other communication media.

Me, talking about the next generation IRC
The three days actually passed way faster than expected. I had to leave a little early, before the event could be closed, but the time I did spend with everyone at Amritapuri is totally unforgettable.


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