It is common practice that if something went wrong anywhere then it is hard to find anybody who can take responsibility.
As a project manager, it is your duty to develop your team from the very start and reduce the storming phase period in a team development model – Tuckman’s Ladder
A RACI model is a helpful tool for identifying roles and responsibilities among the team in systematic order. Here, you will set expectations from your team members and it will also help if you need more manpower or you can optimize the current lot. Even you can release the extra resources after a careful analysis.
What is a RACI?
A RACI chart is basically a responsibility chart which allocates the level of input from a team member or project stakeholder to have on any given project chunk. The RACI allocations are:
A project that involves many team members called RACI stakeholder may struggle to collaborate with each other. A project is a pure teamwork.
As a project manager, it is your role to understand the team members well and assign the ownership as per competency of members. When all the tasks are assigned and have at least one designated owner then it will reduce the chaos among the team.
The RACI model is a very simple tool. The main purpose is to identify roles and responsibilities. It avoids confusion for those roles and responsibilities during a project life cycle. The RACI stands for:
- Responsible: The one who will complete the work for that task or activity. He is the one to make any decision. It can be a single person that will help for faster decision making. A developer, analyst, technical manager, etc. can be fit for this. The responsibility can be shared with others. The degree of responsibility is determined by the individual with the “A”.
- Accountable: The person who signs-off / approves that a task is completed as per contractual requirements. For example, if constructing a steel structure, an area manager is responsible for completing the construction, but the accountable party must validate and approve before signed-off for delivery. This is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ authority and veto authority. Only one person can be assigned to an action.
- Consulted: The person or a team that is to provide a solution or information about the project. Usually, a subject matter expert fit here as they are able to advise on the best way for the activity to be performed or how to resolve if any issue arises. This is a predetermined need for two-way communication. Input from an only designated position is required.
- Informed: It is that who should be informed or reported for the outcome of project tasks. An up to date information to be delivered to that person only this will help to flood the email inbox from irrelevant parties. This place usually for managers or executives who require oversight for a project’s performance. This individual (s) is the one who too is informed after a decision/action is taken.
Looking to get work done without clearly defining the roles and responsibilities, is like if you are trying to do parallel park – Not easy for even both eyes open yet for me 😊
When everyone on the same page and knows what is expectations from him/her then it is clear for him/her to get the job done on time, within budget and up to the quality.
A RACI Matrix helps to resolve;
· Concerns over who to take decisions
· Blaming others
· Workloads Imbalance
· Ineffective communications among stakeholders
· No idea who is doing what
· Idle time Issues
· Poor morale
· Chaos among team members
How to Draw a RACI Matrix?
Follow the below steps to draw a RACI chart;
- Identify Work Process: Start from High impact/important areas. Work process should be well defined. Make sure to have activities or tasks between 10-25.
- Determine Decisions and Activities: Use only clearly define activities. Use clear wording no generic stuff.
- Enlist of Roles or People Involved: Put roles instead of an individual name so that the chart would still be valid if you add new people.
- Develop the RACI Matrix: A general rule, first assign R’s then determine who has the A, then complete C’s and I’s
- Take Feedback and Team Buy-in: Once prepared send the RACI chart to everyone represented on the
chart but was not present in the development meeting. Any suggestion or change review and implement – Redistribute
The RACI Triangle
You can clearly see that an accountable should be one person or minimum entity as this is the one going to sign off the work and hence designated with the highest authority. Other responsible can be more but should be minimum to make decisions clear and fast.
Example of A RACI Chart
A RACI chart can be drawn on simple paper or on MS Excel. You can download RACI Excel Template.
Just follow the above RACI rules and make it as per your project scenario. RACI Guidelines
Make sure to follow these guidelines during development of a RACI chart;
- Put Accountability (A) and Responsibility (R) at the lowest possible level.
- The ideal group to develop RACI size is four to ten people
- Only one accountable per activity
- Authority must accompany for accountability
- Minimize the number of Consults (C) and Informs (I)
- All roles and responsibilities must be documented and communicated throughout the team members mentioned on the RACI chart.
- Avoid personal relations to define the roles and responsibilities
Variation of RACI used by the PMI – Project Management Institute RSI, responsible, sponsor and informed.
More variations are:
- RASCI: with the “S” standing for Support
- RACIO: with the “O” standing for Out of the Loop or Omitted
- RACI-VS: with the “V” standing for Verify and the S for Signatory
- CLAIM: Contributes, Leads, Approves, Monitors
- PACSI: Performed, Accountable, Control, Suggested, Informed
- RAPID: Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide
RACI Matrix | Benefits
A RACI Matrix is beneficial to managing a project in many ways. Some are as follows:
- RACI Matrix improves the communication among the team – Best Use
- It defines the authority of each one on a project team.
- To draw a chart needs no software skills
- Anyone can understand it easily
- The workload is defined properly – no over allocation
- Helps to optimize the project resources
- Clearly displays the contact person in every area
- It shows the responsible person & accountable also
- Helps to avoid & conflict resolution
- Helps to make faster decisions
- It helps with resource optimization and balance allocation
- It improves understanding of roles and responsibilities within a department and at the work process.
RACI Matrix | Pitfalls
There are also disadvantages of using a RACI chart:
- It may be time-consuming to create for complex projects
- Most of the team does not follow or ignore after approval
- It adds unnecessary complexity to handle a project if not created properly.
- It is not a deliverable & hence most of the team don’t bother to look at.
- In complex projects, it is difficult to identify which individual is accountable for any given task.
- A single template cannot be used for every project. You have to develop but RACI rules will remain the same.
- It lacks flexibility when going for shuffling assignments, responsibility and/or accountability as it can be mixed up.
RACI is a tool that is based on that managers or the supervisors are not solely responsible or accountable for every wrongdoing. It reduces the pressure from a project manager as well from the team members. Always make sure to have a meeting again if you are going to make significant changes in RACI Matrix.
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Read More: 5 Stages of a Team Development Tuckman