It's easy for people in big meetings to weasel out of taking responsibility for taking action and moving an initiative forward.

What’s the project management answer to addressing this tendency among teams and team members?

One answer is making sure you identify a DRI.


DRI stands for a Directly Responsible Individual. I heard this acronym during a presentation from Amanda Sibley (@AmandaSibley) of Hubspot. The acronym represents someone we're always looking for in project management to make sure we will make progress.

Amanda Sibley recommends making sure you have at least one DRI for each significant activity in lead generation projects (which was the topic of her presentation at the Social Media Strategies Summit). The DRI concept, however, obviously extends into all project management situations.

While some people naturally gravitate to a DRI role on projects, many people avoid it. Setting the project management expectation in a very explicit way, however, that each major step needs a DRI, is a great way to move an initiative toward creating strategic impact. Individuals that are dependable and responsible are vital to a project’s success so that it gets moving and stays on track.

Project Management and 8 Characteristics of a DRI

What are the ideal characteristics of a DRI? A DRI needs to be:

  1. Detail-oriented without ever losing a strong strategic perspective.
  2. Calm under the pressure of implementation and deadlines.
  3. A strong listener with great skill at asking questions.
  4. Able to vary the direction of a project (or a tactic or task) in smart ways to keep moving toward the objective.
  5. Adept at anticipating potential problems and addressing them early.
  6. Able to successfully interact at senior and junior levels within the organization.
  7. Resilient in order to recover from setbacks.
  8. Consistent in how he or she responds to comparable situations.

What characteristics do you look for in a DRI on your projects? - Mike Brown

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