What is RACI? At its most basic it is a way to examine a process step, task, activity, effort, decision or inspection to determine who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed.
- Helps clarify activities and tasks in a process
- Determines ownership
- Clarifies roles and responsibilities
- Eliminates duplication of effort
- Identifies gaps ie steps in the process that are not owned
- Reduces misunderstandings
- Improves communication - make sure people are not 'left out'
- Provides a cross-functional view for all employees
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 the action/task is performed.
Creating a RACI chart
Set up a matrix with major tasks/activities as the rows and key positions (or named individuals) as column headers. Cells are designated with an R, A C or I, as appropriate, to indicate the role an individual plays.
Analysing a RACI chart
A RACI chart should be analysed by looking at rows and columns. Here are just some things to look out for:
Columns- Each vertical column should have one Responsible, but can have more in some situations of shared responsibility.
- If a column has more than one R perhaps the task should be subdivided
- No empty spaces in a column - Does this person need to be involved in every step?
- 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?
- Too many A's in a row can be an indicator of impending confusion since no one will be sure who really had the task and each individual will probably have a different approach and/or expectation(s).
- No R's in a row - this is where gaps occur and a task may not be performed
- With too many R's in a row an overlap can occur.
- 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?
- The number of Consults should be minimised so that the decision-making process is not slowed down
- If there are too many I's this can be adminsitratively onerous - possibly some people only need to be informed if exceptional circumstances occur.
Click here for an example of a RACI chart.