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RACI & RASCI

Responsible; Accountable; (Supported); Consulted; Informed

RACI | What is it…

How many times have you been involved in a project or activity where there is confusion over who does what – or worse a lack of traction or ownership?

This is where a RACI (Responsible; Accountable; Consulted; Informed) or a RASCI (as RACI but with an S standing for Support) comes into play:

  • Responsible – The performer. The person who performs the task(s) or activity(ies).
  • Accountable – The decision maker. The person who is held to account for the success. The accountability cannot be delegated.
  • Support – The supporters. The people who will be required to support a task(s) or activity(ies) to happen. It is often helpful to add this additional clarity to ensure a projects success.
  • Consulted – The subject matter experts. The people who need to be consulted (asked) before proceeding. They provide the advice and steer the project towards certain decisions.
  • Informed – The informed. They are who we let know what activities are on-going or once they are completed.
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Tip!

A RACI or RASCI chart can be used for any size project, large or small – the principles still apply.

RA(S)CI Chart| How to use it….

Now we know what a RACI / RASCI is and what it stands for let’s take a look at the RACI / RASCI chart:

 

  • The easiest place for a RACI / RASCI chart to be developed is within excel
  • A RACI / RASCI chart is a matrix chart which consists of two components:
    • The Tasks (or Activities): These are listed vertically on the left hand side of the chart
    • The Roles: These are listed horizontally across the top of the chart
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Tip!

As with most items within a project producing a RACI/RASCI is a collaborative process. If you are owning the project you can make a start on this; be sure to share, validate and sign-off. After all no one can be responsible for a task if they are not aware, they are responsible!

  • On your chart it is handy to put a key as this allows for easier completion i.e. placing an R instead of the word “responsible” in the boxes.
  • Now your ready to go ahead and fill out the matrix. When doing so remember only one person can be accountable for any one task.
  • Once you have completed the matrix take a step back and look at your RACI / RASCI chart. What is it visually telling you?
    • Are there too many gaps? meaning the activity will not have ownership or to date no one has been identified which presents a problem to the project
    • Are there too many people responsible for a task? this can have an effect of people/teams leaving the activity on the basis they felt ‘someone’ else was owning the task
    • Are there too many people to consult? Engagement is critical to a project’s success but too many people to consult before you can proceed can lead to significant delays and a decision vacuum
    • Are there no people to consult or inform? This could mean the engagement will not be strong enough for this part of your project
    • If any of the above are present’ attempt to redistribute your RACI / RASCI. If you are then still presented with issues these will need to be raised for resolution
  • After considering all the above you should now be in a position to sign-off the RACI / RASCI
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Tip!

Remember the ambition is not to fill in every box on the RACI / RASCI matrix. Not every box will need completion!

Final point to note – now the RACI / RASCI is done the activity doesn’t stop there, quite the opposite, having defined clear roles and responsibilities the activity can commence. As you progress be sure to review the effectiveness of the RACI! Otherwise the RACI / RASCI Chart just becomes a neat and pretty tool.

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Tip!

Though RACI / RASCI charts are best conducted early on within a project, late is better than never. So if you are taking over a project ask to see the RACI or RASCI chart and if there isn’t one, conduct this exercise.

RA(S)CI FAQ’S

What is the RACI matrix used for?
The RACI matrix is a straightforward method for identifying the roles and responsibilities of people during a project or change process.

This helps a project to avoid confusion over who does what and worse still prevent a lack of traction.

And lets not forget all projects even if focused on automation require human input to make the change happen.

What is the difference between Accountability and Responsibility?
The difference between Accountability and Responsibility can often cause confusion. However, there are a few simple things to help guide you:

  1. Accountability cannot be shared whereas responsibility can
  2. Being accountable means the ‘buck’ stops with you
  3. Accountability cannot be delegated
  4. Those who are accountable are the decision makers whereas those who are responsible are the performers.
How do you say RACI?
RACI is pronounced “Ray-See”

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