This article explains the RACI Matrix in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful stakeholder management tool.
What is the RACI Matrix?
The RACI matrix or RACI chart is used in order to have a good overview of a (complex) project of the various members of the project and their individual responsibilities.
This matrix describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or results for projects or business processes on completing the tasks or results in an orderly fashion.
The RACI matrix is also known as VERI matrix, Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) or Linear Responsibility Chart (LRC).
Because of the colouring and the patterns on the chart, it is also known as the Navajo blanket.
RACI Matrix layout
The RACI Matrix has a fixed layout with a horizontal axis of roles and a vertical axis with tasks, activities, deliverables and responsibilities.
A distinction must be made between a role and individual people. A role is a description of a set of tasks. These tasks may be performed by various people.
Vice versa, a single person may have different roles. For example, an organisation may have ten employees who can perform the role of project manager and one person can perform the role of project manager and business analyst.
What is RACI?
RACI is an acronym that is derived from the key characteristics that are most used in a project:
The person who does the work has the responsibility for the completion of the task. The task performer will then report to the person who is ‘accountable’.
This person is ultimately responsible for the correct completion of one or more project tasks. They will be reported to and they will have to approve the task (sign off).
It may occur that there is one accountable per task.
This is the person whose advice is sought. Communication with this person will be two-way in nature; in addition to providing advice they also help with the implementation and they provide direction for the result.
Those who are kept up-to-date on progress and results and with whom there is just one-way communication.
The role of Accountable (ultimate responsibility) is often not included in the RACI Matrix.
It is assumed that this role will coincide with that of Responsible. Apart from this exception it is recommended to assign one role in the project to one person only.
When a person has several roles, stagnation of the project may occur because the conclusion of specific tasks is obstructed.
Sometimes the RACI Matrix is supplemented with the letter “S” (RASCI) or the letter “O” (CAIRO).
The “S” stands for Support; someone who supports the team members of the project and motivates them to go on.
The “O” stands for Out of the Loop; individuals who are on the sidelines and who are not part of the process. These include facilitating or support personnel and/ or departments.
It’s Your Turn
What do you think? What is your experience with the RACI Matrix? Do you recognize the practical explanation mentioned above or do have more tips? What are success factors to manage stakeholders within a project?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Jacka, J. M., & Keller, P. J. (2009). Business process mapping: improving customer satisfaction. John Wiley and Sons.
- Kofman, A., Yaeli, A., Klinger, T., & Tarr, P. (2009, May). Roles, rights, and responsibilities: Better governance through decision rights automation. In Proceedings of the 2009 ICSE Workshop on Software Development Governance (pp. 9-14). IEEE Computer Society.
- Morgan, R. (2008). How to do RACI charting and analysis: a practical guide. Retrieved October, 1, 2010.
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