Tuesday, 10 September 2013

What is a RACI Matrix?

What is a RACI Matrix?


At its most basic it is a way to examine a process step, task, activity, effort, decision or inspection to determine who is Accountable, Responsible, Informed or Consulted.

Sometimes RACI (ray-see) is know as RASCI (rah-ski) where the additional S stands for Support - RACI can be used to determine fundamental issues with a process where the wrong people are involved and/or no one is accountable


RACI Benefits:
- Encourages teamwork by clarifying roles and responsibilities
- Eliminate duplication of effort
- Reduce misunderstanding
- Improve communication - make sure people are not 'left out'
- Determines ownership
- Helps clarify activities and tasks in a process
- Reduces bad decisions by ensuring the correct people are involved
- Clarify hand-offs and boundaries
- Improve cross-functional view for all employees

Why RACI?
- "Too many cooks in the kitchen" - everyone thinks they are responsible and accountable resulting in duplication of effort and in-fighting
- No one is responsible - Some steps are not 'owned'
- Some people believe that need to be consulted when they just really need to be told after the fact (informed)hand
- Some people need to be consulted for the process to move forward but they are not
- Poor communication, poor process definition and poor hand-offs

R = Responsible - The person who performs the action/task.
A = Accountable - The person who is held accountable that the action/task is completed.
C = Consulted - The person(s) who is consulted before performing the action/task.
I = Informed - The person(s) who is informed after performing the action/task.

Accountable:
- The individual who has ultimate accountability and authority.
- There is only one accountable (A) to each task/activity.
- Accountability is assigned at the lowest level and implied at higher levels
- Accountability can not be delegated

Responsible:
- Individual/s who perform a task/activity; the doer, responsible for action/implementation.
- The degree of responsibility is defined by the Accountable person.
- Responsibility can be shared.
- While Accountability can NOT be delegated, Responsibility can be delegated.

Consulted:
- The individuals to be consulted prior to a final decision or action is taken.
- Two-way communication.

Informed:
- The individuals that need to be informed after a decision or action is taken
RACI Tips and Tricks and Considerations:
- Each vertical column should have only ONE Accountable.
- Too many A's? - Probably a sign of confusion - no one will be sure who really had the task and each individual will probably have a different approach and/or expectation(s).
- Each vertical column should have one Responsible, but can have more in some situations of shared responsibility.
- With no R's a gap occurs - Is the task being completed? Assign Responsibility.
- If a column has more than one R can we subdivide the task?
- With too many R's an overlap can occur.
- Minimize the number of Consults - Make sure the consult is necessary and not just a 'feel good' contact.
- Too many I's? Maybe some people only need to be informed if exceptional circumstances occur. - Build the appropriate criteria into the process.
- No empty spaces in a row - Does this person need to be involved in every step? Try to reduce C's and I's First.
- Lot's of R's - The individual may have too much to do - can the activities be broken into small sections and split out to others?
- No A's or R's - Should this role be eliminated from this process? Has the process changed over time where they may not be needed? Try to eliminate.
- many A's - Is this person a bottleneck? Can these tasks be shared or segregated?
- Completely empty row - Why was this function included? Are we missing including them when they should be? Can the function be correctly eliminated form the process?

Author: Steven Bonacorsi
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