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All you need to know about using a responsibility matrix 8 min read
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For those of us stuck at home — juggling homeschooling, caring responsibilities, or the weekly Tik-Tok challenge with imminent work deadlines — keeping on top of the to-do list feels like a significant burden.

But, getting clear with your significant other on who’s making dinner and who’s helping with math homework probably helps it feel a bit less fraught.

It’s the same with projects.

Having clarity on who’s responsible for a given task, who has overall accountability, and who just needs to be informed of progress makes it all feel just that little bit more zen.

Enter the responsibility matrix.

In this article, we’ll explain what a responsibility matrix is, what it’s not, and why it’s important for your project.

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What is a responsibility matrix?

A responsibility matrix — often called a RACI matrix — describes how different individuals and teams participate in project deliverables. It is important for clarifying roles and responsibilities.

The acronym RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. It denotes the level of responsibility or engagement with a particular project task.

Let’s look at what each level means.

  • Responsible. This is the person or team responsible for the delivery of a task. They are the people actually getting the work done to meet time and quality expectations.
  • Accountable. This is the person ultimately accountable for the task being completed appropriately. It’s always just one person, and they also have decision authority over the task.
  • Consulted. These people aren’t directly involved with task completion. However, they may be able to add information or insight about the task — such as a subject matter expert — and would therefore be worth consulting.
  • Informed. These are stakeholders who need to be kept engaged with the process. They might be an end-user of the task output, or might have another task that’s dependent on this one.

They might also be an advocate of the work, who can bring others on board with the project. It could even be a critic who is given information to attempt to persuade them of the project value.

screenshot of an example responsibility matrix with people designated responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed against each project team

When should you use a responsibility matrix?

If a project is underway and facing any of the following challenges, a RACI matrix might also be a good solution.

Consider a RACI matrix if:

  • There is conflict about task ownership and accountability
  • Decision-making is slow or ineffective, as it’s not clear who has the authority to sign-off on work
  • The workload within a project team feels unbalanced
  • New team members are joining the project team, or the project sponsor/key stakeholder changes, and it’s helpful to confirm responsibilities

What not to use it for

Some projects don’t require a RACI matrix. If the project is fairly small and simple, taking the extra step to define responsibilities may be unnecessary.

The main reason for this is that who’s doing the work and how decisions are taken about the work is probably pretty clear.

One of the key features of the responsibility matrix is that it’s solely focused on task delivery. There’s only one person accountable for decisions that need to be taken.

In terms of decision authority, the main focus of the RACI model is to make sure tasks aren’t delayed by lack of decision-making.

For most projects, this is sufficient. But, sometimes, the project is so complex or contentious, that it needs more clarity around the decision-making process.

In those cases, the RAPID model may help to identify the roles and responsibilities for decision-making.

image showing the RAPID decision-making framework

(Image Source)

This decision-making framework, created by Bain & Company, brings greater structure to the decision-making process.

The acronym stands for:

  • R – Those who propose or recommend an action
  • A – Those who agree to the proposal
  • P – Those who perform the action
  • I -Those who have input to the recommendation
  • D – The single person who takes the final decision about the recommended action

The letters don’t have to be performed in sequence. For example, the proposal may go back and forth between R, I, and A before reaching the D decision point.

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Why the responsibility matrix is useful

The responsibility matrix is useful for several reasons. We’ve outlined them for you below.

1. Identifies authority

By identifying who’s ultimately accountable for work, it’s clear who’s able to sign-off on work as it is delivered. You can also see who has to agree on any changes required to deliverables.

If decision-making is devolved to lower levels, this can also increase the efficiency of decision-making. A conversation about who should really be accountable can help that process.

2. Improves engagement

Through consultation and information sharing, stakeholders can feel more involved in the change that’s happening, which can ease the implementation process.

This is especially important for end-users who are affected by the change and — without this engagement — can feel ‘done-to’.

3. Brings clarity about roles and responsibilities

A responsibility matrix is a visible way to show who’s doing what. It makes it easy to understand who to speak to about various tasks and who to share relevant information with.

It also promotes accountability, as it’s clear to everyone where things are progressing, or where they are getting stuck.

4. Ensures work is done appropriately

As everyone is clear about which tasks they’re responsible for progressing, there’s a reduced likelihood of overlap or duplication of effort. There’s also less chance that a task will be missed through a lack of understanding.

With tasks allocated to specific individuals or teams, the project manager can also keep an eye on workload distribution and make sure people aren’t overworked or under-utilized.

How can help manage responsibilities

Depending on which role you hold in the responsibility matrix, you may need different things. Happily, the Work OS has all the tools you’ll need for whichever role you find yourself doing.

First, as a project manager, you’ll need to create the responsibility matrix. To do this, you need to identify both your project roles and the project tasks.

It’s also wise to conduct a wider stakeholder analysis to identify groups or individuals who need to be kept informed, or who it might be worth consulting.

Next, you’ll start to assign roles and responsibilities against each task until you’ve built up a full responsibility matrix.

For more on how to create a RACI model, step-by-step, check out our guide.

Once the responsibility matrix is complete, it must be communicated and agreed upon. makes document management easy, with the ability to view, share, and annotate files. You can also tag other team members if you need information or input.

screenshot showing the ability to share files and tag teammates in

The responsibility matrix shouldn’t be completed then filed away somewhere and forgotten. It’s meant to be dynamic.

As the project progresses, team members might need to be prioritized elsewhere, and their workload reassigned. It’s also possible that deliverables may change, be paused, or even be canceled.

The Work OS makes updating simple with drag-and-drop functionality to make changes. Plus, you can set automations to let people know there’s been a change in responsibility.

example automation shown in

Reporting’s a cinch with as well.

Whether you’re updating those accountable on task progress, or sharing the project status with those who need to be kept informed,’s 8 data-driven visualizations make getting the right information to the right people at the right time nice and simple.

screenshot of timeline view shown against task status

Plus, communication can be in-platform, or through integration with any one of your favorite communication apps. This is helpful for external subject matter experts you want to consult with, for example.

The responsibility matrix brings clarity around who’s doing what

In this article, we’ve explored the responsibility matrix, what to use it for, and how the Work OS helps you track who’s doing what and when.

Getting clarity on roles and responsibilities early in the project life cycle improves the efficiency of decision-making, supports effective communication, and minimizes frustrations over duplicated or missed work.

Why not get started today with the responsibility matrix template?

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