Also known as Role Matrix, RACI Chart and ARCI Matrix.
Variants include Responsibility Assignment Matrix, Linear Responsibility Chart, and RASCI.
When multiple individuals collaborate on a particular project for example, it is easy to assume that someone else is taking care of an activity or assignment. Expressions like “I didn’t know I was supposed to do it” or “I thought she was working on it” might surface, leading to poor team communication, wasted time and inefficient operation. To overcome these challenges, the RACI model offers a structured framework that outlines the expectations for each stakeholder and facilitates effective communication.
RACI is an acronym for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. It brings transparency to the roles individuals play within a project or process and helps identifying the appropriate points of contact in various situations. For example, when consultation is required before taking a particular decision, the ‘consulted’ stakeholder should be approached. The RACI model can also reveal issues such as too many responsible persons and not enough communication. As a living document, the RACI matrix serves as the guiding document that everyone can refer to when needed.
The Four Major Participation Types
Each key activity in a project or business process should be analyzed to determine the participation requirements. These activities are then plotted on the RACI matrix along with the respective participant stakeholders. RACI represents the four primary participation types that stakeholders may assume in any project, process, or change scenario.
It is important to note that the assigned resources can be listed as roles, groups, or individuals. Furthermore, the rows and columns of the matrix can be interchanged so that rows become columns vice versa. Additionally, it is possible to map the activities with the RACI categories, listing the roles, groups, or individuals in the table (as illustrated below).
It is recommended that each activity receives only one of the RACI categories at most. In some conditions and small teams, the responsible and accountable could be the same. Similarly, the consulted and informed roles could be the same in other cases.
Creating a RACI Matrix
The following steps describe how to create a RACI matrix:
- With your team, clearly explain the purpose for creating the RACI matrix.
- Identify the stakeholders who need to be involved and the main activities that need to be performed.
- Use a flipchart or whiteboard to construct a two-dimensional matrix.
- Enter the activities in the left column and the roles or persons in the top row of the matrix.
- For each activity, identify the Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.
- Discuss the RACI matrix with the key stakeholders to verify accuracy.
Example – Project Management
This example illustrates the responsible, accountable, consulted and informed for a particular project in a manufacturing plant. Note how the assigned resources are presented as individual persons.
Example – Process Management
The following example illustrates a RACI matrix that has been conducted for the process of acquiring new equipment by a company’s business unit.
Example – Change Management
The following is an example of a RACI matrix that was created by a management team to help assigning roles and responsibilities for a Six Sigma deployment program.
Another RACI matrix was created to help assigning the Six Sigma belts to implement improvement projects.
A variation of the RACI matrix is the RASCI matrix, where “S” refers to the ‘support’ category in terms of providing the necessary resources and other forms of support during the project implementation or process operation.
There are many tools that can help in creating a RACI matrix. One of the simplest and most straightforward ways is to use this RACI matrix template.
The RACI matrix is a highly effective way for defining and clarifying roles and responsibilities towards achieving a common goal. It brings transparency to the roles individuals play within a project, business process, or change initiative. It’s a type of stakeholder analysis and can be integrated with other project management methodologies such as the power-interest matrix and the work breakdown structure. RACI, an acronym for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed, serves as a valuable guide throughout the project lifecycle.
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