The skinny on RACI matrix (with examples)
RACI is an acronym used to describe the four key roles most often used to define and share team responsibilities.
RACI helps teams:
In short: Responsible for completing the work. Accountable for ensuring the work gets done. Consulted on the work. Informed of the outcome.
Breaking down each of the roles a bit further:
Responsible: The doers. The workers and/or stakeholders who actually do the work and complete the task at hand. This can be one individual or a group of people.
Accountable: The project owner. This person typically delegates the work and, ultimately, signs off when a task is complete. They give the green light to move forward. There must be only one person who is assigned to this role.
Consulted: The feedback people. This is a group of people who are “in the loop” and provide input along the way, but aren’t doing the work nor are they making key decisions. These individuals tend to be subject matter experts.
Informed: The “need to know” people. Once a task or project is complete, this is the group of individuals who must be alerted. They can be informed in all sorts of ways – be it email or an automatic notification.
RACI is most-often visualized using a model or matrix.
What is a RACI matrix?
A RACI matrix (sometimes called a RACI model or RACI Assignment Matrix) serves as a tool to help visually represent the various roles and responsibilities of a project.
Building out your matrix is as simple as completing the following four steps:
- Identify each stakeholder: List each stakeholder (project sponsor, team lead, team member 1, team member 2, etc) along the top of the matrix.
- Identify all tasks: List each task on the left side of the chart. Note: Depending on the complexity of your project, tasks may be high-level buckets and include several sub-tasks.
- Fill in the matrix: Now the fun part. Add a letter (or the full word) to each cell in the matrix. Responsible OR Accountable OR Consulted OR Informed. Note: In monday.com, each of the 4 words/letters can be color-coded for quicker identification.
- Clean up the matrix: Remember — each task/subtask can only have one person accountable. Also, every task/subtask must have at least one person responsible.
It’s critical that all team members (stakeholders) are onboard and signed off on the RACI matrix. Work through and disagreements on roles and responsibilities — to the best of your ability — before beginning to implement the method.
Also, the RACI matrix does not have to be a static document. Flexibility is the key. Allow for changes along the way.
When to use (and not use) a RACI matrix
Sometimes, in larger projects, there can be confusion around roles and responsibilities. The RACI matrix creates a structure that eliminates this uncertainty. Additionally, if there is turnover within the team, a new member can quickly slot into the assigned role to keep the project moving forward.
Note: While you can certainly leverage RACI for smaller projects, the agile method may be your best option here.
RACI matrix is also useful when visualization is important — visualizing workload, visualizing decision-making, and so on. As you can see from the image below, anyone can quickly see the roles and responsibilities of each team member:
Finally, this method is useful when you need help identifying any accountability gaps — is there a person on the project team who is not doing what they have agreed to? A RACI matrix makes this hole glaringly obvious.
Some examples of a RACI matrix in the real world
A RACI matrix sounds great in theory, but how do you apply it in the real (business) world?
Here are a few examples:
Launching a new help page on your corporate website: Ultimately, the design team would be Responsible for completing the work. The project manager would be Accountable for most of the tasks, which would be broken down one by one on the matrix. The head of customer support — whose team will be most directly impacted by the new help page — might be Consulted on the section’s contents And the marketing team would be Informed of the outcome so they could promote the new section.
Creating a new employee onboarding program: Members of the human resources (HR) team would likely be Responsible for ensuring the work is done, while the director of HR would ultimately be Accountable for the final product. Each team lead would be Consulted as they’d wanted to ensure their team was represented in the training. Finally, members of the C-suite may want to be Informed about the final product.
The options are truly limitless.
Now it’s your turn.
Start by downloading the monday.com intuitive RACI matrix template from our pool of options.
Next, customize your new template for your needs — add your action items, reorder based on priority, and create a tailored plan to fit your needs.
Finally, share your new RACI matrix with your team — assign team members to each action item and monitor your plan’s progress at every stage.
And you are off!