Assigning Responsibilities with MOCHA

Progressive organizations often place high value on involving multiple stakeholders inside or outside the organization in its work.  Such widespread involvement can generate greater buy-in and better outcomes, but it can also generate confusion about who is responsible for what. The “MOCHA” model[1] can help managers more clearly articulate who should play what role throughout the course of work and thereby generate better results.

MANAGER | Assigns responsibility and holds owner accountable. Makes suggestions, asks hard questions, reviews progress, serves as a resource, and intervenes if the work is off-track.

OWNER | Has overall responsibility for the success or failure of the project. Ensures that all the work gets done (directly or with helpers) and that others are involved appropriately. There should only be one owner.

CONSULTED | Should be asked for input or needs to be bought in to the project.

HELPER | Assists with or does some of the work.

APPROVER | Signs off on decisions before they’re final. May be the manager, though might also be the executive director, external partner, or board chair.

Managers can use a very simple table to make clear who is assigned to what role. Note that the same individual might be assigned to more than one box:

Project: Setting agenda for annual convention

Manager Owner Consulted Helper(s) Approver
Ruth (Dep. Director) Carlos (Dir. of Programs) Ray (board chair), all program team members, Alex Alex (on logistics), Dean (for input from members) Melissa (ED)


[1] We adapted this model from the “DARCI” model taught in some programs, which stands for: Decider, Accountable, Responsible, Consulted, Informed.

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