How a Financial Services Organization Defined Accountabilities and Decision Rights

Business leaders collaborate to define accountabilities - a team of five gathers around a boardroom table

The Situation

The Distribution business unit and the centralized Marketing team at a large financial services company operated in a matrix organizational structure. They wanted to align cross-functional teams on accountabilities and decision rights and avoid duplicate tasks. The teams turned to Burnie Group to help them improve communication on decisions, processes, workflows, and establish clear timelines for critical activities.

The Solution

Burnie Group applied its unique five-step approach to create alignment within an organization. First, Burnie Group worked closely with the key stakeholders from both the Distribution and Marketing teams to gather perspectives on the current state of accountabilities and decision rights through independent, confidential working sessions with both teams.

Next, Burnie Group developed and shared areas of misalignment, the root causes of unclear accountabilities, and potential alternatives through collaborative workshop sessions with all key stakeholders. This process enabled the teams to identify and address their issues. For example, both the Distribution and Marketing teams thought they were responsible and accountable for preparing campaign briefs, while the other team should be consulted.

Burnie Group leveraged a RACI framework (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) to design an accountability structure for the team. The framework was adapted to include the Consulted+ role, which enabled the team to solve misalignments. With Burnie Group’s support, the teams aligned on the go-forward accountability structure for each of their tasks. They agreed that the centralized Marketing team is responsible and accountable for preparing campaign briefs, and the decentral Distribution and Product teams are consulted.

The Result

As a result of the new accountability structure, the teams solved the misalignment issues at their root. They agreed to a refreshed set of decision rights across both teams. They also documented the processes and timelines for key initiatives, such as annual campaign planning and execution. Their improved execution enabled the teams to effectively plan for team member capacity and avoid task duplication.

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