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No Bad Questions About Project Management

Definition of DACI

What is DACI?

DACI stands for Driver, Approver, Contributor, and Informed. It's a decision-making framework that assigns specific roles to individuals involved in a project or task.

Each role has a distinct responsibility:

  • Driver — The captain steers the project forward and ensures it stays on course. This position initiates, coordinates, and executes the work, keeping the Approver informed.
  • Approver — The ultimate decision-maker, providing final sign-off on key decisions and ensuring alignment with project goals. He/she trusts the Driver to execute the plan but holds the final say.
  • Contributor — The hands-on crew provides expertise and support to the Driver. They contribute to the project's execution but don't directly make decisions.
  • Informed — The watchful eyes of the project, kept updated on progress and key decisions. They don't actively participate but stay informed for their own awareness and potential future involvement.

What is the difference between RACI and DACI?

Both DACI and RACI are popular frameworks for managing project roles and responsibilities. However, they have subtle differences:

The difference between RACI and DACI

When to use DACI (with examples)

DACI is particularly helpful in situations where:

  • Quick decisions are crucial. The clear roles and shared responsibility facilitate rapid decision-making.
  • Multiple stakeholders are involved. The framework encourages open communication and teamwork. It defines who has the final say and who provides input, preventing confusion and power struggles.
  • Flexibility is needed. The roles can adapt to various project needs and situations.

Let’s look at specific examples:

Product development sprint

Driver — Lead Developer

Approver — Product Manager

Contributors — Developers, QA Testers, UX Designer

Informed — Project Manager, Stakeholders

Selecting a new software vendor

Driver — IT Manager

Approver — CEO

Contributors — Department heads

Informed — Stakeholders

Key Takeaways

  • Decision-making framework. It defines roles for efficient and clear group decisions.
  • DACI stands for: Driver (leader), Approver (final say), Contributor (input providers), Informed (kept in the loop).
  • DACI is versatile, efficient, and stakeholder-friendly.
  • Differs from RACI because it focuses on decision process (DACI) vs. task management (RACI).
  • Use DACI when your complex decisions need clarity, multiple stakeholders are involved, and quick decisions are crucial.
  • Examples: Choosing new software, developing a product line.