What is a RACI Matrix?

RACI Matrix is the name given to a table which is used to describe the type and degree of involvement that stakeholders have in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process.  Also sometimes called the Responsibility Assignment Matrix or Linear Responsibility Chart, it is a common tool used by business analysts and project managers for establishing roles and responsibilities early on in a project.  In this way it reduces project risk and sets expectations about the level of involvement that is expected by various stakeholders.

RACI is an acronym which stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.  Since using an acronym makes for easier recollection, the term RACI Matrix tends to be the most commonly used name for this tool

The RACI Matrix displays deliverables or tasks along one axis:

Then it displays project roles or stakeholders along the other axis

Finally, at each intersecting cell the type or degree of involvement is documented (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed).

Ultimately, each organization varies a bit in how they define each level of participation in a task or creation of a document.  The following are some commonly accepted definitions.

Accountable – This is the person who is ultimately on the hook to ensure that the deliverable or task has been completed and is thorough and correct.  This is usually a lead or manager of some kind.  The accountable person may be directing the work of the responsible person, but in the end the buck stops here.  There can only be one truly accountable person.  This avoids finger pointing when something doesn’t get done or is done incorrectly.

Responsible – The responsible person(s) is the worker bee.  It can be one person, or a team of people.  They will be the ones getting their hands dirty finding the information they need and putting it to use to complete the task or create the deliverable.  They may be reporting to a lead or manager who is accountable for the task or deliverable.  However, for smaller tasks or deliverables, when there is only one responsible person listed, they may ALSO be listed as the accountable party.

Consulted – The consulted person(s) is a subject matter expert.  They are the person whose opinions or knowledge of a particular system or process is sought.  They don’t usually participate in completing a task or deliverable other than by providing the information that the responsible person needs to achieve their task or deliverable.

Informed – These are the people who need to be kept up to date on a task or deliverable.  They may need to track the amount of progress being made, but usually these people care only about the completion of a task or deliverable.  Typically they are either reviewers of the completed document and provide formal sign-off and approval, or they may be dependent on the information that results from the task or deliverable.

posted @ Sunday, January 9, 2011 12:28 PM by Chris Adams