The RACI matrix is a very important tool that can help in the implementation and proper functioning of a process.
This matrix is mainly used to coordinate human resources within a process.
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There are usually many different people involved in a process and each one has different responsibilities. A RACI matrix provides explicit documentation and a reference which can help in different phases of the process.
What does RACI mean?
To understand what the RACI matrix is, it is necessary to understand the meaning of its acronym.
RACI stands for “Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed“. Here is the definition of each of these terms:
- Responsible: this is the class of people who are responsible for completing the work. This can refer to individual workers who perform the assigned task or could refer to a system if the activity is automated.
- Accountable: this is the class of people responsible for supervising and approving the work that is carried out. These are usually high level persons within the organization.
- Consulted: these can be people that must be consulted at the time of an exception, both internally and externally, the so-called “consultants”.
- Informed: it is the class of people who do not need to be actively involved in the project, but who in any case have an interest in its execution and must be kept informed. Informed people correspond to stakeholders.
Rules for using a RACI matrix
Let’s see what the general rules for the correct use of a RACI matrix must be:
One responsible person
it is essential that only one person is assigned to the roles of responsibility indicated by the initials R and A. Having more than one person responsible for the same task increases the ambiguity and the possibility that the work will not be carried out correctly.
Although this is the rule, having a single responsible person can, however, lead to other types of problems. If the responsible person is incompetent, for example, the whole process may not be done correctly. This is why there is often a hierarchy of responsible people.
Communication with the people consulted
Inform informed people, ie stakeholders
this is a one-way communication channel. It is usually a control metric and is usually automated, but still needs a manager to deal with it in order to ensure it works properly.
There should always be at least one person responsible for each activity in a process. Similarly, there must always be at least one person responsible for each task.
There cannot be more than one person responsible for the same process activity.
How to create a RACI matrix
Now that we know the meaning of the letters of the word RACI, it is time to understand how to create a RACI matrix. Here are the basic steps:
- Make a list of all the activities of a process.
- Make another list, this time of all people involved in the process.
- Assemble a table with a row reserved for each process activity.
- In the same table, create columns corresponding to each person involved in the process.
- Analyze each activity and mark it with one of the letters that are part of the initials RACI.
Benefits of using the RACI matrix
After all that what has been seen so far, a question will arise: why use the RACI matrix? What are the advantages of this method?
Here are the reasons why it is very important to use a RACI matrix:
- Facilitates responsibility monitoring.
- Helps other members of the process to know who to report, ask for help or entrust a delivery or activity.
- Prevents a process from stopping because someone failed to fulfill an assigned responsibility.
- Documents “who should do what”.
- It is easy to use and create, it is in fact a visual and intuitive tool which makes it a method that can be consulted quickly.
- Stimulates communication between team members, collaboration, and teamwork.
- It allows to have a clear and objective division of tasks among the members of the work group.
- Creates a greater sense of responsibility. The jobs and results of others depend on the performance of each on each activity.
- Allows you to assign resources in the right measure.
- Prevents duplicity of activities.
- If a team member leaves the project, the substitute knows exactly what to do and where he is in the process.
Therefore, the use of a RACI matrix allows the project manager and all the people involved in the project to know exactly who is responsible for what without misunderstanding.
For this reason, the RACI matrix allows to obtain processes within a project that are more orderly and disciplined.
Have you ever used a RACI matrix for your projects? If you have any doubt, leave your question here.