Using a RACI Matrix in Projects

June 29, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

A RACI matrix is a tool you can use when managing projects to formally identify the roles and responsibilities within your project. It can be especially useful in situations where you are managing a project which spans across multiple parts of the organization, or even involves multiple organizations.

Before we can complete our RACI model we need to understand the following terms:

Accountable: this is the person accountable for the work. This is basically the person who approves the work to be done. This would typically be a senior executable.
Responsible: This is the person who will perform the actual task
Consulted: these are the people who need to be actively consulted in performing the task
Informed: these are people who don’t need to be actively involved within the project but that we do need to keep informed as to progress on the task.

Now that we understand the terms accountable, responsible, consulted, and informed, here are the steps you need to follow to create a RACI matrix:

1. List all the jobs that need to be done down the left hand side of the matrix, in the first column of the matrix
2. Write all the people involved in the project across the top of the matrix (don’t forget to include their role in the project)
3. Now simply complete the grid using the letters R, A, C, I for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed.
4. In each row in the matrix there should not be more than one person accountable. If there is then conflicts will arise or accountability will fall between more than one person and so things will get missed.

It’s a good idea to work with your stakeholders to create your RACI model so that everyone agrees as to who is doing what on the project. This way everyone agrees up front as to what they are supposed to be doing and your project is likely to go much more smoothly.

In summary, by using a RACI matrix, everyone involved in the project should know who is responsible for what and so your project should run in a more disciplined manner and therefore more smoothly.

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