Any time we develop or change a process, we must address the roles and responsibilities needed to support the new process. This addresses the question of "who's supposed to do what?"
The RACI matrix is a highly-effective tool to facilitate roles and responsibilities.
How to perform a RACI
1. To begin, gather all of the people involved in the process. It's vital to have everyone in the room so all involved people can understand where they fit in the process and understand the upstream and downstream impacts of their work.
2. List all of the steps in the process in the RACI template.
3. Next, list all of the individuals or groups that will be involved in the process.
4. For each step, you will define:
R = responsible (Performs the task or completes the work)
A = accountable (Accountable for completion and quality of work)
C = consulted (Provides inputs or expertise)
I = informed (Notified of decisions, progress or changes)
D = decide (optional - Makes a decision or gives an approval)
- There can only be one A for each step. The Accountability must belong to a single individual, it cannot be a group or multiple individuals. The A is typically the leader of a team who is ultimately accountable for ensuring the quality and completion of that team’s work.
- If you identify two R's in one step, consider breaking the step into two separate tasks to clearly delineate responsibilities for each part of the process.
- C and I are optional and may not be identified for each step. Each step may have multiple C's and I’s if multiple groups or individuals are consulted or informed.
-If you choose to use D for decide, the Decision must belong to a single person. Governing by committee or consensus will lead to indecision. Often, the D and the A are the same individual.
The RACI is a useful tool for multiple stages of your project. You may choose to perform a RACI at the beginning of the project to establish roles and responsibilities within your project team. You may choose to perform an "as is" and a "future state" RACI to show the change before and after a process improvement.
Print the RACI and place it in a public area or store it in a shared location and refer to it often to resolve conflict and ensure the process stays on track.