Why Use a RACI Matrix?

Not too long ago, I was involved in a post implementation meeting for a change that was not very successful. During the meeting there was a very heated discussion, some of the comments I heard were: 
  • ‘I thought you were going to do that’
  • ‘That is not my responsibility”
  • ‘Why wasn’t I informed that this was occurring’
  • 'I have the responsibility, but not the authority to get the job done'
  • ‘I knew how to fix the issue, but no one ever asked me’  
It occurred to me that having a RACI chart would address these comments. The RACI model is a straight forward tool used for identifying activities and relating them to roles and responsibilities, thus avoiding confusion over who does what and how people are involved. The acronym RACI stands for: 
  • Responsible: This role is responsible for the correct execution of process and activities. This person or persons do the work to achieve the task.
  • Accountable: This role has ownership of the quality and the end result of the process. This must be one person and is often the project executive or project sponsor. 
  • Consulted: This role has involvement through input of knowledge and information. They provide information for the project and with whom there is two-way communication. This is usually several people, often subject matter experts.
  • Informed: This role receives information about process execution and quality. These are the people who are kept informed about progress and with whom there is one-way communication. They are usually affected by the outcome of the tasks so need to be kept up-to-date. 
Putting together an authority matrix can be a time-consuming, but worthwhile, task. This chart will clarify to all involved which activities they are expected to fulfill, as well as identify any gaps in service delivery and responsibilities. Without clearly defined roles and responsibilities it is easy for projects to run into trouble. When people know exactly what is expected of them, it is easier for them to complete their work on time, within budget and to the right level of quality. A RACI matrix is used to discuss, agree and communicate roles and responsibilities.

Comments

The said…
Agree that using the RACI language on a project is invaluable, even if you don't want to take the time at the beginning to straighten out everyone's role by constructing a full matrix.

What do you think the barriers are to using RACI? I am finding that many companies "know" it but are not using it fully ...

Cassie Solomon, RACI-Training
Vladimir said…
As a greatest barrier I see making this too complex and too big when communicating to people.
This is why I rather use words 'who does what' instead of RACI matrix.
I admire ITSM professor writes concise and easy to understand articles about quite complex things.
S.Covey has a lot of things about importance of 'who does what' in his book 'Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times'.
Thanks for your comments, and the book recommendation. I've not read it, so I've added to my list.

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