The responsibility assignment matrix or RACI matrix is a useful tool. Yet we often see it used incorrectly. Let’s keep things simple and offer a concise RACI matrix definition…
We use the RACI matrix when we need to make clear the roles in projects or processes. Four key roles are included in the RACI matrix definition
- Responsible – the person who does something as part of their job or role to do a specific task or activity
- Accountable – the person who is expected to justify actions taken or decisions made to deliver the completed task or activity
- Consulted – groups or people whose opinions are sought by the person responsible for the task or activity
- Informed – those groups or people that should be kept up-to-date on progress with the task or activity
When we prepare a responsibility assignment matrix we need to remember the following points
- The roles that are responsible and accountable are only ever assigned to one person
- Sometimes the role that is accountable for a task is also responsible for achieving it―in such circumstances the responsible role is omitted (since it is implied)
- Withstanding the previous exception, all roles are mutually exclusive―for instance, you cannot have roles that are both responsible and consulted or consulted and informed
- The role that is responsible seeks advice from the consulted―this involves two-way communication
- The role that is responsible updates the informed―this is one-way communication
- Roles that are responsible may delegate tasks to others in their team
To illustrate, the following images―both from Wikipedia―demonstrate proper and improper use of the RACI matrix.
Have Your Say
Can you spot improper use? When do you use the responsibility assignment matrix or RACI matrix? Please join the discussion.
Image: Airman Magazine.