DRI (Directly Responsible Individual) is the term used to indicate the person who holds ultimate responsibility for ensuring a project or task is completed.
The DRI concept aims to address issues related to ambiguity and Deferred Responsability. In situations where a group of people are deciding what needs to be done, whether through a meeting or email exchange, the larger the group size, the more likely it is for individuals to dodge ownership. This issue can be resolved by designating a DRI.
The role of a DRI becomes particularly crucial in the context of cross-functional teams and when initiating new projects. As shared by former employees, DRIs played significant roles at Apple:
I’ve tweeted about this before, but when we made the original iPhone, we didn’t have product managers. We had directly responsible individuals (DRIs). Each important piece of work had a single person charged with seeing to it that the work got done. 1/— Ken Kocienda (@kocienda) August 28, 2022
Discover more about DRIs in this article Directly Responsible Individuals: The What, How and Why of DRIs