An Introduction to the RACI Matrix


Roles and Responsibilities
Example RACI Matrix
Building a RACI Matrix


Roles and Responsibilities

When a new process or service is being designed, it is vital to ensure that all of the roles and their associated responsibilities are accurately recorded. Organisations can find the RACI model beneficial in enabling decisions to be made rapidly and confidently. When making important decisions, particularly when under pressure, being aware of who provides input, who makes the decision, and who takes the necessary action will enable the process or service to continue running quickly and smoothly.

RACI is an acronym (sometimes also known as ARCI) for the following four main roles:

  • Responsible – the person or people responsible for getting the job done
  • Accountable – only one person can be accountable each task performed
  • Consulted – the people who are consulted and whose opinions are sought when activities are being performed
  • Informed – those people that are kept informed on the progress of activities being performed

Occasionally, an expanded version of RACI can be utilised and is called RACI-VS.  This contains two additional roles:

  • Verifies – the person or group that checks whether acceptance criteria have been met
  • Signs off – the person who approves the ‘verified’ decision and authorises the product hand-off (this could be the Accountable person detailed above)

There is also a third variation of the model called RASCI where S represents Supportive. This particular role, for example, provides additional resource to carry out the work or can play a supportive role in the implementation.


Example RACI Matrix
Process: Incident Management
Sub-Process: Handle Major Incident

Responsible

Accountable

Consulted

Informed

Step INC-2000:
Review each candidate for major incident
Service Desk Manager Process Owner Major Incident Manager
Service Level Manager
Service Owner
Service Desk Analyst
Service Desk Analyst
Step INC-2000:
Assign the incident to the Major Incident Manager
Service Desk Manager Process Owner   Major Incident Manager
Step INC-2020:
Advise Service Owner & Service Desk Analysts of major incident
Service Desk Manager Process Owner   Service Owner
Service Desk Analyst
IT Service Continuity Manager
Step INC-2030:
Monitor major incident progress
Service Desk Manager Process Owner Major Incident Manager
IT Service Continuity Manager
 

 
The RACI chart in this example shows the structure and power of RACI modelling, with the activities down the left-hand side detailing the steps that need to take place and then for each of these a listing of the roles responsible for carrying out the activity or who plays a role in the decision making required for that activity, and who (if anyone) needs to be informed of the output from the execution of that activity.

Whether a RACI matrix or some other tool or model is used, it is important not to place the assignment of responsibilities to chance or to leave it to the last minute before deciding who is responsible for doing which individual activity. By then, when important and critical decisions have to be made, the pressure may cloud those judgements. Conflicts can be avoided and timely decisions made if the roles are allocated in advance and, as important, those people are aware of their role and their corresponding responsibilities.


Building a RACI Matrix

In order to build a RACI matrix, take the following steps:

  • Identify all of the activities and processes
  • Identify and define the functional roles
  • Conduct review meetings to discuss and assign the RACI codes
  • Identify any gaps or overlaps in the matrix, for example where there are two Rs or where there are no Rs (see further below)
  • Distribute the chart to all interested parties for review and subsequently incorporate any feedback
  • Importantly, ensure that the roles allocated are being followed

Review the functional roles
When the matrix is complete and an analysis is being performed, when reviewing the functional roles look for:

  • Roles with too many As – if so,
    • Are the duties segregated properly?
    • Should someone else be accountable for some of these activities?
    • Is this causing (or likely to cause) a bottleneck in some areas that will lead to delays in decisions being made?
  • Roles with too many Rs – if so,
    • Review to see if this is too much for one specific function to perform.
  • No empty spaces – if so,
    • Does this role need to be involved in so many tasks or activities?
  • Does the type or degree of participation fit this role’s qualifications?

Analyse the activities
When performing an analysis of the activities look for:

  • More than one A – only one role can be accountable.
  • No As – one A must be assigned to each activity.
  • More than one R – too many roles being responsible for a task or activity often means that no-one takes overall responsibility.  Responsibility may be shared, but only if the roles are clearly defined.
  • No Rs – at least one person must be responsible for each activity.
  • Many Cs – look to see if there really is a requirement to consult with so many roles, as this could significantly slow down or delay the process. Look at the benefits and see if the extra time can be justified.
  • No Cs and no Is – check to see if communication channels are open in order to enable people and departments to talk to each other and to keep each other up-to-date.