By michaelpace on May 10, 2011
I just did a Google search on the phrase “Who owns social media within organizations,” and was returned 3,160,000 results. Now I doubt there are more than 3 million different ways or opinions for a company to organize around social media, but it is obviously a hot topic. I also believe how companies organize and operationalize social business and tools will be the most important topic in social media over the next 2 to 3 years. While I have a number of opinions about social media “ownership”, this post is about how to create operating agreements across your company, regardless of what model you have chosen, to ensure a well managed process.
In any well managed process, people need to understand who is doing what, and RACI is a fantastic tool to get everyone on the same page. RACI is a Business Process Management tool that clarifies everyone’s role in a process (in this case, execution of a social media strategy). RACI is an acronym for:
Creation of a RACI matrix has a number of benefits for any process:
- Encourages teamwork by setting boundaries of responsibility
- Pushes you to think of who else in the organization needs to be consulted about this function/decision/action
- Reduces risk of actions “falling through the cracks”
- Saves time by reducing overlap and need for mass consensus
- Allows associates to exercise their own responsible freedom/empowerment & increase personal satisfaction
How to build a RACI matrix/chart:
- Start with a template
- Define your main areas of function, decision and/or action (what activities, decisions, major tasks will be completed in the process)
- Determine who are all the possible players or participants
- Label the matrix boxes with the appropriate R, A, C or I
- Only 1 person should be (A)ccountable per activity
- Decision authority must accompany (A)ccountable
- Minimize Your (C)onsults & (I)nforms
- Place (R)esponsible for those who are physically performing the action
Every organization’s RACI chart is going to be different based on strategy, personal competencies, organizational set up, technology knowledge and a number of other factors. Don’t over think it. Again, its about building operating agreements. Once you have the agreements, the execution of the RACI decisions is relatively easy. I would suggest reviewing and updating every 6 months with key stakeholders.
The first wave of social media was about the tools and the marketing, the next phases will be about it’s process and how you operationalize within your organization. Go buy a process manager a cup of coffee, you are going to need him or her to be successful for many years to come.