RACI Matrix

A RACI matrix is a grid of activities mapped against the responsible, accountable, consulted and informed stakeholders. Its core purpose is to create clarity across roles.

RACI Matrix - Step 5

This is an example of a completed RACI chart. Along the top you have all the key stakeholders and along the side all the activities. Inside the grid you can see who plays what role in the delivery of each of the activities.

Below you find an easy-to-follow process you can follow with your team to create a RACI chart. 

You can download a FREE Powerpoint or PDF of this tool at the bottom of this page

Objectives​

  • To help teams clarify individual, team and organizational roles and responsibilities.
  • To identify and clarify personal accountabilities.
  • To reduce misunderstandings between colleagues.

When Would You Use It?

  • When there is confusion or conflict on a team or project around what work needs to be done and who is responsible to do it.

Why Would You Use It?

  • As the workplace becomes more complex, more project orientated, and as our organizations become more matrixed and inter-connected, it is essential to agree exactly how people should work together.
  • A RACI matrix gives you a better way to describe your multi-project work and how to deliver together effectively.

What Does RACI Mean?

Responsible

The person or position responsible for doing the activity (the work).

Accountable

The person or position accountable to ensure the activity happens. If things go wrong - “it’s their head on the chopping block”.

Consulted

The person or position who should be consulted prior to a decision or action being taken.

Informed

The person or position that needs to be informed after completion of the task or decision is made.

​Resources Required

  • White board, multiple flip chart papers or large space to write on.
  • Packs of multi-color post-its.
  • Lots of pens.
  • Open-plan room with lots of space to walk around.

RACI Matrix Process

  1. Choose one activity to focus on for your chart
    • Determine the activity you want to look at.
    • You can apply a RACI matrix to either a broad issue or a very specific issue – the choice is yours.
    • E.g. do you want to create a RACI for the complete product launch process, or just part of it? Each will give you very different charts. Remember you can always do both.
  2. What are the activities, tasks or steps involved?
    • This is where a RACI matrix has similarities to project planning.
    • You need to think through all the different steps in the activity or decision making process.
    • Use one color of Post-It notes to capture all potential activities. Place the individual notes vertically in a list.
    RACI Matrix - Step 2

    The activities are placed on the side in Step 2

  3. Who are the key stakeholders?
    • This is where a RACI matrix is similar to stakeholder analysis.
    • Who needs to be involved? Who thinks they should be involved? Who did you forget?
    • For a complicated project or program, you should make sure you brainstorm as a group during this step to reach agreement as a collective.
    • Use another color of Post-It notes to capture all potential roles.
    • Place the notes horizontally across the board.
    • Then draw a grid with the activities and horizontal roles.
    RACI Matrix - Step 3

    During Step 3 you add the key stakeholders across the top

  4. Decide if you want to chart the “as is” or the “will be”
    • You need to decide are you going to chart the “as is” (the way it’s working today?), or the “will be” (the way it should work in the future)?
    • Sometimes the answer is obvious: If you are doing a plan for the future, you are charting future roles.
    • Keep in mind, it is also possible to chart the “as is” situation to learn more about how a system or process is working today.
  5. Use Post-It notes in the RACI chart with codes
    • Write “R”, “A”, “C”, and “I” on their own Post-Its and place them on the chart intersecting activities with the stakeholders.
    • This step should always be done as a group.
    • If you have enough colors use different color of Post-It notes to identify roles.
    RACI Matrix - Step 5

    The core of the RACI chart is filled during Step 5

  6. Negotiate how you see the roles and how others see them
    • You will quickly learn how people’s perceptions differ from each other.
    • You will also likely discover a better way of working.
    • The aim of this step is to reach a common understanding of how it is now or how it will be in the future (depending what you chose in step 4).
  7. Do a vertical analysis (looking at the stakeholders and their respective responsibilities)
    • Are there too many R’s? Can the functional role stay on top of so much stuff? Can the decision / activity be broken into smaller, more manageable tasks?
    • Does someone have no R’s or A’s? Should this role be eliminated or shifted? Have processes changed to a point where resources should be re-distributed?
    • Are there too many A’s? Does a proper "separation of duties” exist? Should other groups be accountable for some of these activities to ensure proper checks and balances? Is this a “roadblock” in the process and is everyone waiting for decisions or direction as a result?
    • Empty spaces? Consider who you need to add.
  8. Do a horizontal analysis (looking at activities and the stakeholders playing a role)
    • Are there no R’s? Is the job really getting done? Why is there no “leader”?
    • Too Many R's? This is likely a sign of “too many cooks” or a round-robin of “passing the buck”.
    • Too many A's? Is there confusion? Is there (or will there be) potential conflict because every person with an “A” has a different view of how it is or should be done?
    • Too many C's? Do all the roles really need to be consulted?
    • Too many I's? - Do all the roles need to be regularly informed or only in certain circumstances?

The RASCI Variation

Responsible

The person or position responsible for doing the activity (the work).

Accountable

The person or position accountable to ensure the activity happens. If things go wrong - “it’s their head on the chopping block”.

Supportive

The person or position who can provide resources or play a supporting role.

Consulted

The person or position who should be consulted prior to a decision or action being taken.

Informed

The person or position that needs to be informed after completion of the task or decision is made.

Secret Sauce

  • With complicated tasks, it’s inevitable that more than one person needs to collaborate to get the job done. The danger with this is that it can be like two players running to make the same catch – the ball can go straight down the middle because each one is thinking, “oh, that’s their ball.” To avoid this you can designate one person as the “R-prime or R1” which means that in terms of accountability, this person is #1.
  • RACI matrix experts say you should assign only one “A” to a responsibility chart, but often in complex systems that’s not possible. The key point is the more “A’s” are attached to a decision, the longer it takes to move forward. So use A’s judiciously.
  • It is common to have more than one role at a time. You can have the Authority (A) and the Responsibility (R) for a task if you do the work and also decide which next step to take.
  • You can also combine the Authority (A) and the Consultation (C) roles if you provide a directive for someone else to get additional information before an approval is made.
  • It is less common but possible for someone to keep the Consultation (C) role and the Inform (I) role when delegating a task, but give both the Responsibility (R) and the Authority (A) to someone else. In this case you would say, “Take my point of view of what’s important, but then go and decide what to do next yourself. Just let me know after what you’ve decided.”

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About the Author

Matthew Black is the SVP, Learning & Development at Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications agency.

Leave a Reply 1 comment

bess stonehouse Reply

I’ve been looking at your RACI exercise and like the way you structured it. I do it slightly differently, and wanted to let you know there is a stakeholder addendum that fits right in.

In the I for “Informed” I also add “Influenced” which can also be “Influences”. This includes people or processes that may be impacted or have an impact on the project or its outcomes but are not directly involved in realisation of same.

For example a through-put revision will influence downstream operations, and their input before starting will possibly modify the thing. Yes it sounds like “Consulted”, but sometimes those we chose to consult is not exhaustive if we don’t add and think about “Influenced”.

Influences would include any upstream supply of intelligence or process, such as order limits, timeframes, stuff that may have a big impact. If we don’t unwrap the influence, we don’t have the full picture.

It’s a thinking chapter which when overlooked can lead to catastrophic results.

“Influenced” can lead to another RACI or just a better version of the original one. With your model I would simply add another I.

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