PDA and the Real RACI Model


The proposal manager ran his hand against the spine of a book on the table. The hardcover laid bare except a few pages turning in the wind. He loved French literature best. A whole library has been collected over a lifetime. His wife, hardly a reader, liked loud Mexican soap operas served daily with her lunch. She leafed through women’s magazines and cooking books without intention or thought. She was careless with the pages, a habit the proposal manager found annoying.

In Search of Lost Time 

It was Sunday evening. He was due at the office tomorrow morning with a stiff tie and a smart presentation. The calendar never betrayed the reality of the procurement business. The days manually working on proposals turned into weeks to come as months only to be lost as years in the grey office shuffle. He glanced at a book on the shelf, Marcel Proust, “In Search of Lost Time”. A seven-volume novel of European literature. Proust monumental at musing about meaning in 1.5 million words spilling out across 4,000 pages only to be forgotten by the modern world.

The proposal manager thought Proust could have used a version of the Professional Document Analyzer (PDA). The proposal manager fantasized about unleashing the readability feature on these books. A divine meeting of literature royalty with the automation of content, what will remain on the page?  

He thought of the Proust quote: “Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself”. Time regained; time lost. It seemed elusive and sad, as the trees outside mourned the passing of leaves to the bare branches.

The train to the office was an asphalt grey color billowing smoke in the cold air. He stepped in to find his team, dispersed and lively, on a Monday morning. They were working on a lengthy proposal to the city about the construction of a stadium.

The Proposal Team Meets RACI Model 

There was the architect responsible for the plans and project deadline. The consultant brought in specifically by the regional office to handle complex construction projects. The engineer who did the infrastructure and proposed building layout of the stadium. And finally, his manager who had taken a strong liking to the proposal manager when he educated himself in RFP automation software.

The buzz in the office was about the RACI Matrix. Some months prior, the manager got an RFP automation software which promised a lot in the cloud and delivered little on it. The company purported to have a “Real RACI Matrix” but when the proposal manager looked at the responsibility assignment matrix up close he saw a splattering of “XXXXs”.

That is not very helpful, he thought. How on Earth where we supposed to distinguish between the assigned roles and individual responsibilities of the project? One of the reasons, the proposal manager was crazy about RFP automation is that it centralized knowledge and eased collaboration.

He was no longer guessing about other parts of the projects, the moving puzzle pieces but had a visual guide for its completion. He called his contact at another RFP automation software company that had deep American roots and work ethic. This company, home to the Professional Document Analyzer (PDA), had the “Real RACI Matrix” that delivered.

The Real RACI Matrix Please Stand Up

He opened up the PDA software to find the RACI with columns for “Responsible”- who is completing the task,” Accountable”-  who is making decisions and taking actions on the task, “Consulted”- who will be communicated with regarding decision and tasks, and “Informed”- who will be updated on decisions and actions during the project. Suddenly, the whole project came to life and made sense as a logical puzzle divided between his team.

The proposal manager felt comforted by the promises of automation as much as he was moved by the gravitas of the written word. The reader reads himself, he thought and smiled.

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