The RACI Matrix – An Analysis

Group of Architects Planning on a New Project with their Bluepri

An Introduction

It is often considered that team work is a useful way to attain objectives at workplaces. Companies that have well coordinated teams are more efficient than others. However, most of the times this does not happen and teams fail to deliver the desired outcome. Unless it is delineated from the beginning, no one will know which work is assigned to whom and pointing fingers will be a common exercise when a team performs poorly. In this article, we will discuss about the RACI Matrix which helps in process optimization through clarity in role assignment. By using the strategy tools RACI Matrix ensures that team structure is maintained.

An Idea of RACI Matrix

The underperformance of a team can be the result of many factors. However, if the team members are not aware of the structure of their team, problems are bound to occur. In situations where people might have tendency to avoid responsibilities, such as complicated and time-sensitive projects, it is important that each and every team member is assigned clear-cut roles. This way, there will be no blame game if the team fails to perform.

The RACI Matrix is a grid system that can be used to make sure that the team members are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

RACI Matrix

Definition of RACI Matrix

A RACI Matrix is a two dimensional model showing the involvement of each person in a team.

Explanation of RACI Matrix

Since, there are many people involved in a project; a detailed document is necessary which provides ready information to the team leader or manager at different stages in the project. The RACI Matrix is used in the following way.

# Responsible

This is the category of people who are responsible for getting the work completed. This either refers to the performance of individual employees or the system if the assignment is automated. These people are endowed with wide knowledge of the basic idea of the task. Examples of this kind of team members are application developers or business analysts.

# Accountable

This is the category of people which sees to it that the given work is completed. These people are also called Approving Authorities or Approvers. It is essential for them to approve a task before it is declared ready to be submitted. They are always under the limelight. If something goes wrong they are the first to be called for and if things go right, they are the first to be praised. Example of this kind of employees is the line manager who supervises and oversees the work.

# Consulted

These are the subject matter experts who are consulted in times of need. In case, a team member faces an unexpectedly critical situation these experts are consulted. They suggest how to do a difficult task by distracting from the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). They play the role of advisors to other team members. Their role is important to take a difficult task forward and complete it.

# Informed

These people are interested in the execution of a given assignment. They are supposed to be informed about the progress of the project. They take interest in the project because the result of the task affects them. However, they have no direct role to play. It may be a signal of input to the other process or it may be a manager trying to monitor the completion of work at hand.

6 Step Process of Creating a RACI Matrix

The creation of RACI Matrix involves six steps.

  • The manager has to find out tasks that are used to deliver the project. The tasks are then listed on the left side of the chart in order of their completion.
  • She has to find out roles of the team members in the project and list them on top of the chart.
  • The manager has to complete the cells in the chart after she identifies which team member will have responsibility, and who will be accountable. She also has to fill blanks in the chart with names of the team members who will be consulted and informed.
  • She has to make sure that every task has an accountable and a responsible role attached to it.
  • It is important that no task has more than one role accountable. If any task has more than one role accountable it is the duty of the manager to resolve such an issue.
  • Before the commencement of the project, the manager has to discuss and agree over the RACI Matrix with the stakeholders of the company.

Analysis of RACI Matrix

By analyzing the matrix, a manager understands the issues that need to be addressed. The analysis is done by the manager with full collaboration from team members, so that each player feels committed to the project. The analysis is done both vertically and horizontally.

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# Vertical Analysis

  • There is no R. Is the role important enough to be on the matrix?
  • There is no assignment of A. Someone has to be accountable.
  • Too many roles have been assigned an A. There should be only one A. The presence of too many role accountable creates chaos in the final decision making phase.
  • There are multiple C’s. Are there so many experts to deliver suggestions?
  • There are too many I’s. Is there any need to involve everyone in the assignment?

Horizontal Analysis

  • If a row has too many R’s the manager has to think if an individual can at all be responsible for so much. Can the responsibilities be made smaller and simpler? Should an additional resource be assigned to the project?
  • A role has neither R’s nor A’s. Can the project be reframed to assign the team member a different role?
  • All the A’s are seen in the capacity of one team member. Is the project aiming to reach bottleneck? Can the manager delegate any of the decision making authority somewhere else?

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be concluded that the RACI Matrix is useful in making sure that projects are completed smoothly. It is helpful in clarifying roles to team members.

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