In last 4 years I have worked in different roles, I have moved from being the database guy, then the core I.T. / Programmer to a management person. That core experience has given me a lot of insight and an upper hand in my role as an analyst and a project manager when compared to managers who just came out of school with their MBAs. I find myself better with understanding the requirements of the clients, creating the charter with team, creating the Work breakdown structure and assigning the team/resource to those tasks.
As we all work in an environment where we are responsible for tasks that we perform, we might also be accountable for those task/s. We might be consulted in for a task or two or might just kept in loop for some tasks. This when tabulated in a sheet is called the RACI matrix pronounced as RACEY or it is also called the resource allocation matrix (R.A.M.)
An organization typically has several roles which can be composed of an individual person, group/team or a full department (for e.g. John Doe , Android team, or the Development department). All roles have a responsibility towards a task and a given task may not be associated to all roles. Typically a task is associated with at least one role and in some cases with multiple roles
It is very important for a project manager to identify the tasks, and roles and responsibilities of each of the team member or in broader term stakeholders. Now each role can be associated with a task in 4 ways :-
R – Responsible
I – informed
Responsible – Role/Person who is assigned with the task and he will be the prime doer of the task. He can also be accountable for the same task as well . The RACI matrix will give us insight into the workload of a role and we can balance the workload as well.
Accountable – It is the person or the role who has the final word or authority and who will be held accountable for that particular task typically a manager or a senior level person. Two roles cannot be accountable for the same task and accountability cannot be delegated.
Consulted – The role who is consulted while doing the task. They advise on how to take care of the task if some problem arises. Typical examples subject mater experts, clients or experienced manager. More consulted roles means increase in time. Too few could lead to under performance in a project.
Informed – Role/ person needs to be informed when the task is complete. Have to br very sure as it could lead to confusion and delays. Typical example testing department when development is complete.
Sometimes there is another association its called the SUPPORT and the matrix is now called RASCI. They are sometimes used in organization (typically functional organization) where the department provides the resource.
Advantages of RACI matrix
- Defines roles and responsibilities in earlier stages.
- Removes confusion on whos responsible for what.
- Helps avoiding wrong decisions.
- Insight of whos busy with what.
Best Practices for RACI Matrix
- Each task should have one and only one Accountable (A)
- There should be only one responsible or a task. If there are more then one R for a task then brainstorm the task and break into further sub-tasks.
- Reduce number of R’s for a role as that means that particular role has more work.
- Too many A’s means the role is very busy
I also found a very nice video here . See the excel sheet and you can use it as a template for the RACI matrix in your project. This was my understanding of RACI in a nutshell. Please post comments so that we can all share our knowledge