Tools | By Duncan Haughey | Read time minutes
Delegation is an essential part of a project manager's role, so make sure you identify roles and responsibilities early in a project. Applying the RACI model can help. As the project manager, it is essential to set the expectations of people involved in your project from the outset.
Projects require many people's involvement, but how do you avoid a situation where people are struggling against one another to do a task.
Equally challenging is dealing with a situation where nobody will take ownership and make a decision. How do people know their level of responsibility, when they should involve you, their project manager, or when they should exercise their judgment?
Around since the 1950s, the RACI model has been a straightforward tool used to identify roles and responsibilities and avoid confusion over those roles and responsibilities during a project. The acronym RACI stands for:
- Responsible: The person who does the work to achieve the task. As a rule, this is one person; examples might be a business analyst, application developer or technical architect. They have responsibility for getting the work done or decisions made.
- Accountable: The person who is responsible for the correct and thorough completion of the task. This role must be one person and is often the project executive or project sponsor. This role is in the role that responsible is accountable to and approves their work.
- Consulted: The people who provide information for the project and with whom there is two-way communication. This role is usually several people, often subject matter experts.
- Informed: The people kept informed of progress and with whom there is one-way communication. These are people affected by the outcome of the tasks, so they need to be kept up to date.
Without clearly defined roles and responsibilities, it is easy for projects to run into trouble. When people know what management expects of them, it is easier for them to complete their work on time, within budget and to the right level of quality.
A RACI matrix supports the model and is used to discuss, agree and communicate roles and responsibilities.
Creating a RACI Matrix (step-by-step)
- Identify all the tasks involved in delivering the project and list them on the left-hand side of the chart in completion order.
- Identify all the project roles and list them at the top of the chart.
- Complete the chart cells identifying who has the responsibility, the accountability and who will be consulted and informed for each task.
- Ensure every task has a role responsible and a role accountable for it.
- No task should have more than one role accountable. Resolve any conflicts where there is more than one for a particular task.
- Share, discuss and agree on the RACI Matrix with your stakeholders before your project starts.
|Step||Project Initiation||Project Executive||Project Manager||Business Analyst||Technical Architect||Application Developers|
A variation of RACI used by the Project Management Institute (PMI) is RSI, responsible, sponsor and informed.
Other variations are:
- RASCI: with the 'S' standing for 'Support.'
- RACIO: with the 'O' standing for 'Out of the Loop' or 'Omitted.'
- RACI-VS: with the 'V' standing for 'Verify' and the 'S' for 'Signatory.'
Recommended read: How to Do RACI Charting and Analysis: A Practical Guide by Royston Morgan.