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RACI Matrix: A system for successful business

This article was written by Bao. P (Alvin).

Excellent communication is a significant factor determining success in life, and especially in business.

Having good communication skills makes matters like managing individuals and running projects easier (as seen in Figure 1). It can become more and more complicated as you expand your company and add more people and personalities. Through acquiring extraordinary communication abilities, CEOs and managers can reach out to their employees to understand the status of each employee and bring out their full potential, as well as interact and expand relationships with customers and business partners to further promote their enterprises.

Ineffective communication graph
Figure 1. The percentages of un/successful projects are due to communication skills.
Source: Project Management Institute PDF on THE HIGH COST OF LOW PERFORMANCE: THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF COMMUNICATIONS

However, some companies, especially startups, encounter numerous communication and human resource management complications. Many employees experience confusion when taking on a new project or joining a new department because they do not know who should be responsible for which part of the project because their leader does not have good communication skills or the roles and responsibilities were not designated at the start.

RACI matrix being the solution for understanding tasks

Do you experience the problem where various departments and people in your company or members of your project do not understand who should be in charge of which part of a plan? This article will be the answer to your problem by addressing a communication solution and project management tool, which is the RACI Matrix, to make it simpler for you to handle your projects and bring your entire department to be on the same page.

What is the RACI Matrix?

The RACI Matrix, also known as the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), is a system that team leaders often apply to clearly distribute and designate different tasks for their teammates in order to accomplish a mutual goal, such as researching a recently given business project. Thanks to RACI being first preceded in the 1950s, businesses can complete the assignment more efficiently and cooperatively with a carefully planned strategy of their directors through the Matrix’s system.

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RACI Matrix’s functionalities

The word RACI is an acronym that stands for the four standard duties that a team needs to concede to properly perform according to the Matrix’s functions:

  • Responsible
  • Accountable
  • Consulted
  • Informed
Responsible in RACI

Responsible

Responsible are people who perform assigned tasks (the do-ers) through the coordination of the Accountable people. These are the people who are competent for the implementation part of the project. The number of implementers will depend on the distribution of the Accountable person, and the amount of the Responsible person’s activity can also be shared with other groups and project members.

Accountable in RACI

Accountable

Accountable is the most critical position because they often own or receive the project and obtain a direct evaluation from the seniors. In addition, they also decide to agree or not in determining the topic of the project and the assignment of work to the Responsible. Therefore, they are the ones who have the most responsible for the team. Due to their significance, those Accountable is held culpable for the success or failure of the project. Even if someone else is responsible for something, those designated Accountable will be held liable will take the blame. Hence, to avoid project failure, the person Accountable will need to consult, check, and ultimately approve the areas a person Responsible will carry out.

Consulted in RACI

Consulted

Following the project’s completion of the Responsible team, the product is brought to the Consulted crew for examining and giving comments before reaching a final decision.

Informed in RACI

Informed

After the final decision has been made, the Informed team will receive this information and notify the entire team. This creates a close connection in the communication process of the whole group. The informed person is either a senior member of the company who needs to be kept in the loop or a junior member whom the project task will affect.

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Advantages and disadvantages of the RACI Matrix

Everything has its two sides, and the RACI Matrix is no exception. The nature of this method has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, businesses, more specifically team leaders, should understand the nature of this system to limit its weaknesses and increase its strengths when using the RACI Matrix to assign work to their colleagues.

Advantages

First is the advantages of the RACI Matrix when it comes to project management, including:

  • The unification and one-way of communication
  • The measurement of the implementers
  • Ease of assigning responsibilities
  • Clear expectations.

When a project is launched, with RACI, the project is exchanged from the project receiving group (the Accountable) to the practicing team (the Responsible), then passed down to the Consulted group and Informed group. This generates consistency in internal communication.

Additionally, communication unity helps the team leader measure the performance of the divided responsibilities in the project. With this clear assignment, if everything works properly, the results are sure to be successful. Yet, if there is a problem during the operation, the captain will quickly identify which team needs improvement. Hence their expectations became extremely clear.

Disadvantages

In contrast, the RACI Matrix also has its flaws, including:

  • Adding complexity to the process
  • Only suitable for specific projects

While overall, RACI seems to be a pretty solid system for project management, some projects don’t necessarily need to go through the Consulted and Informed teams. Therefore, Consulted and Informed groups are unnecessary because it makes the process redundant and even more complicated. Consequently, the RACI Matrix is only suitable for some specific projects.

How to create the RACI Matrix?

After learning about the RACI Matrix, from the definition to the characteristics of each system function, we will show you how to design the RACI Matrix through the following steps:

  1. Identify or adopt the required project theme and roles
  2. Break down assignments
  3. Distribute duties to each group (Accountable, Responsible, Consulted, and Informed)
  4. Share the strategies and details of the plan with your team and stakeholders

1. Identify or adopt the required project theme and roles

First, identify or get the project’s theme from the top to determine precisely which individuals can be contributed to the project. Usually, positions are determined by understanding the capabilities of each individual on the team (in line with their job title). Thereby, those on the team with weaknesses will often be veiled by those who have strengths in that area.

However, suppose there is a case that an individual has quite a lot of talents. In that case, that individual can alternately change groups to cover the weaker teammates and create diversity during the project operation (this individual will usually be directly named and starred in the assignment sheet). The names of individuals who commit to the project will usually be written at the top and listed from left to right.

2. Break down assignments

Create lists of necessary tasks and tasks for groups. If the job is too heavy for an individual in the team, then divide the task up so that the team members can complete the assigned task. These tasks are usually written in the far left corner of the board and listed from top to bottom. Remember that multiple people can be held responsible or consulted for a particular task.

3. Distribute duties to each individual

After determining the strengths and weaknesses of the project participants, as well as listing the essential tasks for the project to be completed, it is now time to start consigning tasks to each person. Every job should have one Accountable person, and this person doesn’t need to be the one to take on Accountable for every other task. In addition, it is also advisable to assign the person to be Consulted and Informed after the Responsible person has completed the job. These assignments will usually be listed inside the RACI Matrix.

Pro tip: If the person accountable is also responsible, you can label them as liable or responsible. Use whatever is more comfortable for you. Just make sure everyone else on your team is on the same page.

4. Share the strategies and details of the plan with your team and stakeholders

After carefully planning the plan’s details to complete the project, share it with other relevant groups and committees to review and implement the assigned tasks.

Here is an example of a RACI Matrix:

raciチャート

In short, the RACI Matrix is a task assignment method that makes it easier for project managers to control the activities, and communication processes of individuals in the team and related departments. If you still have questions and problems managing your team members’ communication or having difficulty managing a project, please visit our company’s free consultation through the following link: https://scalingyourcompany.com. We provide coaching to business owners and help them scale their company revenue from six figures US dollars to seven or even eight-figure income.

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