What is RACI Matrix/Purpose/importance/benefits/creation/variations
The RACI Matrix is a visual tool for assigning responsibilities in a project. Simple and focused on basic information, it favors communication, productivity and agility in delivery, in addition to other benefits.
How is project management done in your company? The RACI Matrix is a simple tool that optimizes the communication and processes of projects of different types.
When we talk about responsibilities, one of the bottlenecks is clear communication and the correct assignment of roles. In order for everything to run smoothly on a project, no one can get lost as to what to do or who needs to report something.
Therefore, there are tools that can be applied to facilitate the organization of projects and the assignment of tasks. This is the case of the RACI Matrix. What do you know about it?
What is the RACI Matrix
The RACI Matrix is a tool that facilitates the visualization of the responsibilities in the execution of a project , making clear the functions of each one and optimizing each step of the process until the conclusion of this project.
This matrix can be and is used by organizations from different segments, especially because it has a visual component that favors the understanding of the responsibilities of each one.
This not only makes the organization of tasks simpler, but, as a result, helps the team to be more engaged and acting with greater harmony.
Namely, RACI letters present a set of functions considered essential for the smooth running of a project. Look:
- A : Responsible or Responsible;
- A : Accountable or Approver/Authority;
- C : Consulted or Consulted;
- I : Informed or Informed.
The person in charge is the professional designated to perform a task because he has the necessary knowledge to perform it in the best possible way.
This person becomes responsible for delivering the demand(s) assigned to them, with or without the help of other team professionals.
If such help exists, it is good to make it clear that the Responsible is still the main executor of the demand, while the assistants deal with details of this process.
Once finalized, the demand must be forwarded to an Approver or Authority.
As the word itself indicates, the approver is the professional responsible for approving the demand finalized by the Responsible . This requires general knowledge of the task, its objective and the project as a whole.
This is the only way to assess whether the result is good enough for the team to move on to the next stage of the project or if any adjustment or redoing is necessary.
Do you see how it makes you feel that the person in this role actually has some authority? This is why the Approver tends to be a department head, someone like a coordinator or manager, for example.
Ideally, each demand should have only one Approver to guarantee more agility to the processes, aiming at the evolution of the project and its delivery within the determined period.
The Consultant is a specialist capable of giving the Responsible person all the support necessary for his task to be better performed .
This is because, even though the Responsible person is the most qualified person to fulfill a demand, he may need specific guidance or specific help with questions in the area of knowledge of an expert .
The Informed is someone who does not participate directly in the project, but needs to know about its evolution . This communication can be done in different ways, even through automatic messages.
This is because these people, even though they have a “need to know” about the project, do not have decision-making power over it.
In some cases, colleagues from other departments can also fulfill it satisfactorily. In others, customers and other stakeholders can also be included in this role.
What is the RACI Matrix for?
The RACI Matrix is a project management tool and its main purpose is to communicate, in a simple and clear way, the role of each professional in this project or routine.
In addition to making the roles of each person official, assigning their responsibilities, the matrix helps to clarify the work dynamics in each process.
Those responsible for each step or task are known, as are the other agents.
This makes it easy to know who to look for or who to report an event or problem to, for example.
In the RACI Matrix table, the status of each process is also indicated. This helps everyone to see the whole picture and understand if there are delays or if everything is going well.
This organization also allows the team to know which step needs to be completed before the next step can be started. This way, it is easier to avoid delays in deliveries.
Thus, the RACI Matrix serves to:
- clearly define responsibilities;
- avoid confusion about who is responsible for what;
- ensure that resources ― people and skills ― are well distributed across project stages;
- facilitate the reallocation of these resources if necessary;
- optimize the fulfillment of tasks for the delivery of projects.
The main rules of the RACI Matrix
The RACI Matrix is quite simple and this is one of its favorable points that is always worth mentioning.
It’s easy to implement because a table that exposes tasks and assignees might be enough .
However, as simple as creating this table can be, it is important that your visual organization is adequate to communicate each project and related responsibilities quickly and objectively.
So, there are some rules to follow. Check it out:
- a task always needs to have at least one responsible person defined;
- each task must have only one approver , and it is not necessary that all tasks always have the same professional in this role;
- it is possible that there are several consultants and informants for each task or none, if the matrix is only of internal interest;
- the assignee of a task can also be its approver , if that makes sense for the task at hand and the project as a whole.
The importance of a responsibility matrix
The RACI Matrix is a type of responsibility matrix among which a company can seek to improve its management of people, processes or projects.
It’s rare that, when looking for a candidate for a job, HR overlooks the importance of communication skills.
Every organization understands that communicating well is essential for everyday life.
Leaders need to communicate clearly, teams need to know how to exchange information efficiently, and so on.
Without this, failures are inevitable and tend to be frustrating, as they occur because of problems that shouldn’t even exist.
When there is something to be done, it is essential that there is a good alignment so that everyone understands the objective, processes and functions.
This is what underscores the importance of a responsibility matrix.
A matrix of this nature contributes to a more accurate alignment of tasks .
Communication failures become less common and, as a consequence, things evolve in a more fluid and agile way.
The RACI Matrix serves this purpose because, as a visual resource , it clearly indicates the role of each participant in a project, facilitating the team’s work dynamics.
When we explain how to build a RACI Matrix, you will see that this is the simplest model among the responsibility matrices.
Thus, it is easy to use and fulfills its role well, since it focuses on basic information and in concise and clear language.
Benefits of the RACI Matrix
Perhaps it has already become clear to you that the RACI Matrix contributes to the full execution of projects. This in itself is a clear advantage for the organization.
To delve a little deeper, we separate some benefits that deserve to be highlighted:
more efficient communication
Once you know what RACI Matrix is, you already understand that the tool optimizes communication between project participants.
As we mentioned before, the visual resource makes this communication simpler, clearer and more objective.
Thus, possible noises are avoided and there is more efficiency throughout the process.
Clarity in responsibilities
Taking the communication hook, the RACI Matrix makes it very easy to know who is responsible for what in order for the project to succeed.
With this, there is no need to keep delegating tasks, as everything is previously defined .
As a consequence, there is no chance that something will go unnoticed among the Responsible and fail to be done or not be done in due time.
When each member of the project team knows what to do and understands that they are responsible for a certain function, they have more freedom to fulfill their demands without intervention .
Something that contributes to this is the fact that the RACI Matrix allows anyone to know who to turn to to find out about the status of a given stage of the project.
Although simple, the RACI Matrix provides a very broad view of a project’s status.
Thus, even those who are not part of a demand X can be aware of their status .
This contributes to a gain in transparency, including through the presence of the Informed.
As a result, it can be easier to move to the next stages of a project as decision makers are also aware of everything.
Transparency makes it clear what expectations are about the work of everyone who participates in the project.
This makes it easier to identify collaboration opportunities, as everyone understands that they have a role .
More space for collaboration reduces competitiveness, which in turn can lead to lack of objectivity and role conflict.
Clarity in defining roles and responsibilities, as well as increased collaboration, prevents any member of the project team from being overwhelmed.
As we said before, the RACI Matrix contributes to a better distribution of resources and defines the deliverables of each professional .
Thus, there is no way for one person to take over the entire project or for others to fail in their responsibility.
Being productive is being able to produce well using fewer resources. One of these very valuable resources is time.
When communication works well and each participant knows what they need to do, they can get straight to the point and make good use of the time they have to accomplish their task.
Furthermore, if there is more collaboration and less overhead, there is greater availability not only of time, but also of energy to produce with quality.
Having clear indications of responsibilities helps to improve time management and productivity for each participant and, consequently, for the team as a whole.
How to create a RACI Matrix
The RACI Matrix is simple, but it still has points that deserve your attention when creating a model to be applied in your organization. So, we have some important guidelines:
set the goal
It may seem obvious, but it is common to confuse goals with goals. The objective is the central purpose of the project that, in most cases, leads to its completion .
The goals, in turn, are crucial for this objective to be achieved, serving as steps, smaller steps that contribute to the whole.
This difference needs to be clear so the team doesn’t lose focus. Thus, the first tip on how to prepare a RACI Matrix is to indicate, in a clear and simple way, what the objective of the project is.
Example: “Restructure the company’s website to update the services and optimize its mobile version”.
Specify the goals
When we point out the difference between objectives and goals, we make clear the importance that these goals have.
Knowing them and indicating them is also necessary to design a RACI Matrix that will really work well.
Want one more example? If we think about updating the services indicated on the company’s website, one of the needs is to define what should leave the website and what information should be added.
Therefore, a goal could be to curate content for the new site.
Realize that the idea is to break the objective into smaller steps, including to understand if it will be necessary to hire someone from outside or who should be the professionals selected for each task.
Define project activities
Defining the goals has the consequence of defining the activities of the project in question.
Therefore, it is perfectly plausible to start by making a list of all the actions necessary for the project to be carried out successfully.
Keep in mind that you can use subdivisions if the complexity of the project demands it.
Tip : it is interesting to list the tasks using verbs in the infinitive so that communication is clearer. Example: make, create, verify…
Define the responsible team
For the execution of a given project, it is possible to count on a team already accustomed to working together or to assemble a multidisciplinary team that involves professionals from different departments.
It all depends on the project in question and the human resources available to the organization. This analysis is, above all, the responsibility of the leaders.
Indicate the roles of each participant
Each member participating in the project has their roles, and a person can participate in more than one task, whether or not they have the same role.
It is very important to think about the abilities of each team member to define how each one can best contribute, assigning them a role of the acronym RACI.
As the matrix is visual, this is the time to choose how to identify each participant.
You can, for example, choose to use the professionals’ name or their position within the team, or both information.
The most appropriate thing is to choose a form of identification that makes it easy for everyone to understand. You can even include a photo of the people if that makes sense.
Important : It is necessary to make it clear who is the person in charge, the approver, the consulted and the informed of each of the tasks, ok? Nothing can be left open, otherwise the RACI Matrix will not be properly designed.
Review the matrix with the participants
Before the work begins, it is interesting to review the RACI Matrix drawn up with all participants in an alignment meeting .
This is the time to present the defined structure and check that everyone clearly understands their roles and responsibilities and feels they are able to respond.
Success depends, among other factors, on the team feeling comfortable with assignments as well as deadlines.
If it is the first time that the matrix is being implemented, it is also important to provide guidance on the dynamics designed by it.
It doesn’t make sense for someone to report something to an Approver simply because they don’t know that this communication should be made to the Informed, for example.
The main variations of the RACI Matrix
The simplicity of the RACI responsibility matrix is one of the features that makes the model so efficient and easy to use.
However, in some situations, this feature can become a limitation.
With the creation of new activities and positions in different sectors, it can be a challenge to make sense of everything following the acronym RACI.
In cases like this, the matrix is no longer so efficient because it no longer portrays reality and communicates clearly.
For this reason, variations were created and, to illustrate, we will present the main ones below!
Manager / Manager
The manager is the professional responsible for managing project deliverables, but not their approval .
It is common for them to already perform this function in the day to day of their work in the company and, due to this expertise , they also fulfill the same role in a specific project.
Backup / Alternate
The substitute is a substitute who joins the project if the person responsible for a certain task needs to be absent .
This may be a less common reality, but it is interesting that the project planning stage considers this possibility in order to choose an alternate well.
The professional needs to have the necessary knowledge about the project and about the execution of a specific task so that the replacement does not generate any type of loss.
This variation makes even clearer the importance of information being well defined in the RACI Matrix. If not, the substitute may simply get lost in taking over his post.
Notify / Notified
In general, the role of the Notified is very similar to that of the Informed. The difference is that this professional must be part of the team that is executing the project .
It is worth remembering that a Reported Person can be someone outside the project – or even outside the company, such as a customer or other stakeholder – and who does not decide anything about this project.
At the same time, the Notified Person is someone on the team who needs to be informed about the progress of the tasks, including because it may be their responsibility to make any changes.
The Creator is someone who creates a task and helps the Responsible to clarify doubts about the received guidelines , that is, about the briefing of a task.
This means that this professional needs to know the project well so that he is able to make contributions that really facilitate the execution and delivery of tasks, considering both quality and agility.
Also, regarding the possibility of creating a task, the Creator can add new roles to the matrix if they understand that this is the best way for the project to be well executed and delivered on time.
To do so, however, you need to be objective and maintain simple visual communication. Otherwise, the matrix may lose its characteristics.
RACI Matrix Model
After indicating how to create a RACI Matrix, we hope it has become easier to understand that it is a model that, despite its pre-defined structure, can be customized according to each project.
The array is nothing more than a well-planned table. So that you can better visualize this, let’s rescue the example of restructuring the site that we gave earlier.
|New website home page|
|coordinate Of marketing||UX Writer||designer||Programmer||Customers|
|do the planning||R||I||I||–||Ç|
|Create visual identity||THE||I||R||I||–|
|Put the blog online||THE||I||I||R||I|
Note that a demand never has more than one Responsible, just as it does not have more than one Approver.
And note that it is okay for the same person to perform the same task ― receiving the same letter of RACI ― several times.
In some cases, as in the example we brought up just to help you understand the model better, some roles were not assigned to anyone simply because it was not necessary.