RACI conflicts between departments

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David Ellin
David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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edited August 2023 in Customer Journey

Many of us have had to build RACIs where there are many gray areas. These gray areas tend to lead to customer stress and dissatisfaction as they often create holes in handoff points - implementation, onboarding, revenue growth, etc.

How have you handled gaining alignment between teams?

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  • WillowMoellering
    WillowMoellering Member, CS Leader Posts: 21 Thought Leader
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    edited May 2020
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    @David L Ellin, I just posted the below screenshot on a question for creating a Customer Success team from a Support team.  I have a painful but successful approach: a RACI workshop with your leadership team.  Before the workshop, send out 2 surveys

    1. Ask the main roles/jobs that their team does (weather they should or not)
    2. After getting the list of jobs, send a survey asking the team who they think should be responsible for the job
    image

     

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Thanks Willow. How do you handle conflicts where two teams both think they should be responsible for a task or neither feels they should be responsible?

  • Gabriel Fallas
    Gabriel Fallas Member Posts: 53 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    @Willow Moellering thanks for sharing! I'm definitely going to have to set some time apart to review this. We're in the process of building a CS team from our Support/Contact Center teams and I'm always open for ideas/suggestions. 

  • Gabriel Fallas
    Gabriel Fallas Member Posts: 53 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    @David L Ellin Any major project that I've worked on that has been successful has needed engagement from the leadership team. The key things for me have always been to affirm to everyone that we are a team, and we should always have a collaborative mindset because that's what fuels companies to grow and flourish. Also, demonstrate how the specific project that is being worked on can benefit all teams, and explore ways to maximize those benefits. People are far more willing to take ownership over a task if they see the direct benefit that said task will have for their team. 

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    So true @Gabriel Fallas. Collaboration is key as is everyone having an opportunity to win.

  • Vijaya Vardhan P
    Vijaya Vardhan P Member Posts: 13 Contributor
    edited May 2020
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    @David L Ellin  A little OT. Here is a strategy I followed to spur collaboration in my previous company. I've done this when handling 2 different teams (Tech Support and Customer service). I 'intentionally' withheld information about specific topics and some of these were important topics. When team members came to me for clarification, I directed them to the 'other' team. Some complained, some whined. The silver lining was - out of that friction, a few natural collaborators emerged. I then latched on to them to tie the company values to what we were trying to achieve. Of course, I still had 10-20% dissenters. Happy to chat more if interested.

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    @Vijaya Vardhan P Withholding information is an interesting approach. I'm glad it led to more collaboration and not people pulling back.

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    I have seen that the customer frustration with RACI is not the constant handoffs, it is the frustration of repeating yourself when you have already spoken to your CSM, who handed off to Support and you repeated yourself, who handed off to product and you repeated yourself.

     

    The second customer frustration is that some departments have all these processes that prevent them from getting started like information gathering sessions about their tech stacks, processes, etc. This could be solved if this information is recorded and updated regularly prior to there being a need for it.

    While we have an official RACI chart at RingCentral, we made a quick glance view on our common asks and when the task should be handed off to a different internal stakeholder as seen below.

    image
  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    @Kevin Mitchell Leonor Fist bumps that you have a quick glance view because RACI docs can be quite arduous. I'm sure this helps with quick routing of customer issues.

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    hit it right on the head. CSMs are always so empowered to go above and beyond. I would even argue that we are asked to do more than our job more than any other department is asked to. It helps when we have those defined dividing lines and allows us to provide the level of service we need to keep customers engaged and happy.

  • WillowMoellering
    WillowMoellering Member, CS Leader Posts: 21 Thought Leader
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    edited May 2020
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    image

    These are the ideas that are great to discuss in the Workshop.  We also use the Decided vs Informer, and designate a decider with leadership before the workshop.  This helps to relieve conflict after heated discussions.

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Thanks for sharing @Willow Moellering. Sometimes those conversations do get quite heated. People are passionate about what they don't think falls under their role.

  • Tammy Krieger
    Tammy Krieger Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2020
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    Sometimes it can truly feel like death by RACI although they definitely do have their place. This visual is consumable by everyone.