Edgemont’s November Message from the President

Presidents Message Edgemont

I’d like to dedicate this month’s message to the topics of efficiency and effectiveness in operation of the Edgemont Community Association and your Board. Because we are a volunteer organization we sometimes suffer in our efforts to be efficient and effective. Experience from my former career in industry may contribute to improving our performance. Two concepts can prove helpful.

The first concept is referred to as the RACI approach to accomplishing tasks and activities. RACI is an acronym for R= responsible, A= accountable, C= consulted and I= informed. A RACI description can be applied to most major tasks and activities. To elaborate, accountability is assigned to the person or entity in charge. In our case this is the Board or members thereof. Accountability can be understood as “who owns the task” or “the buck stops here”. Furthermore, there can only be one person or entity that has accountability. The shift of our Board to a governance role strongly supports this concept.

Responsibility is assigned to those who will accomplish the task or activity. Responsibility can be shared. Of note, one of the key initiatives of the current Board was to create the position of general manager. This role carries a strong element of responsibility for a number of deliverables covered in the job description and our business plan. Staff functions also take on a role in responsibility as delegated by the general manager. Proper reporting at all levels is essential for success.

Once accountability and responsibility are assigned and understood, the two remaining elements come into play. Consultation is often overlooked in the execution of tasks; but has a powerful role to play. It taps into the wealth of knowledge and experience present in our community. Better results and outputs come from the use of consultation. The strong volunteerism displayed in Edgemont is a natural fit here. Of note, committees and work groups formed by the Board to accomplish specific tasks should have community residents as members and our volunteer base is a good source for this participation.

The final element is the informing. This is expressed in proper communication. The right message at the right time to the right audience. Proper communication channels are essential and there are a variety of ways to get the message across. These need to be tailored to our community. We received excellent input from you in our recent survey. Communication is so important that the Board has struck a committee to optimize our efforts.

The second concept of value for improving efficiency and effectiveness is a concept called “aligned expectations”. When dealing with an important task of activity we all have both expressed and implied expectations. The situation is straight forward when two individuals are involved with the task and work together. Discussions are held, and agreement gained. Things get more complicated when there are multiple players. A more formal approach is required, and methodologies are available. Expectations should be captured and agreed upon at the start of work. Misaligned expectations are one of the major causes as to why completed tasks and projects are over budget and late in delivery.

In closing, I hope you can see value in the two concepts that I have shared. Your Board is dedicated to serving you in the most efficient and effective manner possible. As always, we encourage your involvement in helping us achieve this ideal. After all the ECA is your organization.