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RACI matrix of responsibilities

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What is a RACI matrix/chart and how to make one?

The RACI matrix of responsibilities is a popular tool in project management practices. When there is a common task to be done in a team, sometimes there is a problem with responsibility.

The RACI matrix of responsibilities is a popular tool in project management practices. When there is a common task to be done in a team, sometimes there is a problem with responsibility.

In particular, it is easy to blur the responsibility and it is not entirely clear who is responsible for what in the joint work and for what is not.

The so-called "RACI Matrix", which is a useful tool for allocating responsibilities in the team. With its help, some problems in expectations and coordination between people can be avoided to get the job done more efficiently.

Let's take a closer look at what this is all about.

RACI matrix/chart of responsibilities

The RACI matrix of responsibilities is an acronym of four words:

  • R (Responsible) - This is the person who actually works on the task and realizes it in practice;
  • A (Accountable) - This is the person with the highest responsibility and authority over the task;
  • C (Consulted) - This is the person the task should be consulted;
  • I (Informed) - This is the person who needs to be informed about the task.

With the help of the RACI matrix, it is possible to visualize in tabular form who is responsible for what in the work on a certain project or team task. This ensures clarity about the roles that each individual plays in the overall work.

Let's look in particular at each of the elements of the RACI matrix.

R - Responsible

The letter R denotes the person who actually does the work and realizes it. These can be one or more people who have to complete the task, achieve the goal, or make the decision.

Once the work is done, the Responsible (R) should report this to the Accountable (A).

A - Accountable

The letter A marks the person with the highest responsibility and authority over the task. The person in charge (A) distributes the different roles in the RACI matrix among the people, as well as “accepts” the work when the task is completed or a decision is made.

Accountable (A) is usually the project manager. To avoid misunderstandings, it is correct to have only one Accountable person in one project.

C - Consulting

The letter C indicates the person with whom the task should be consulted. These can be one or more people who have to give their opinion before the work is done and finished.

Communication with a Consultant is usually two-way. Such a person helps with information and advice and practically influences the final result of the work.

I - Informed

The letter "I" indicates the person who must be informed about the task. These can be one or more people who need to be kept abreast of the progress of the project or activity.

There is no need to formally agree with Informed, ie. this is not a person in the role of Consultant. Such a person does not contribute directly to the task or decision to be made.

How to make the RACI matrix/chart

To create the RACI matrix, it is necessary to consider the following sequence of steps:

The task is clarified - project, final goal, solution.

One axis of the matrix describes all the tasks and activities that need to be performed.

The other axis of the matrix describes all the people in the team.

A matrix is ​​obtained in which the letters R, A, C and I indicate the attitude (role) of each person concerning the tasks/activities to be performed. For each task/activity, it is indicated who will work, who is responsible, who will consult, and who will be informed.

There should be only one Accountable (A) and at least one Responsible (R) on each row of the RACI matrix. Counseling (C) and Informed (I) are only optional options.

When the RACI matrix is ​​filled, it is good to look in detail. It is useful to consider:

  • Is there a balanced distribution of people for all activities and tasks?
  • Do people have the necessary high competence to handle their responsibilities?

Once everything is clarified, all team members should be familiarized to be aware of their roles and responsibilities. These roles and responsibilities can also be discussed in advance with people, of course.

Variations of the RACI matrix/chart

The RACI matrix can be found in different areas with other abbreviations, for example:

ARCI matrix

At the forefront is the letter A, which emphasizes the key role of the person with the highest responsibility for the task;

RASCI or RASIC matrix. A fifth element is added - Supportive. This is a person who provides resources and assistance in case of need.

RACI-V. In some situations, a new role is added - Verifies. This is the person who does the quality checks to make sure that the work is done given the quality criteria and standards set initially.

CAIRO. The Omitted role is added. This person is removed from the project and is not involved in the communication of everyone else related to the task.

In some sources, the RACI matrix can also be found as a "Table of Responsibilities".

Who creates the RACI chart?

In project management practices, the project manager usually creates a RACI matrix. Their supervisors (such as a project director or program manager) usually need to approve it. Roles and responsibilities rarely change, but if they do, be sure to update your matrix, table, or another tool you use.

Once this chart is ready, all participants in the project need to get acquainted with it in detail and accept it formally.

It is rare for a team/project member to claim another responsibility or want to do the other person's work. You will not meet a programmer, for example, who wants to be a project manager or vice versa. The director does not like to do design. The designer will not inform stakeholders. That's why you have a project manager. And so on. Now you understand perfectly the complexity of the activities and the need for different responsibilities.

Summary

The RACI matrix helps to allocate responsibilities for a team task. It outlines how everyone contributes most to the ultimate goal.

With the help of the RACI matrix, the risk of mistakes, the inaction of certain people, or duplication of efforts can be reduced. In this sense, the matrix is useful for better communication between people.

About the author

Beatrice Alvaro, Writer at Business Value-Oriented Principles

Beatrice Alvaro is a project manager with many years of experience in IT projects. He has recently been teaching business subjects to students in his spare time. Beatrice also participates as a volunteer in various educational programs.

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