RACI Chart – An Effective Project Management Tool

Whether you’re looking to improve the company-wide organization or want to get a better handle on development projects, a RACI chart can help improve communication, efficiency, and employee morale.

A RACI chart creates an environment that empowers employees to provide leadership. Communication channels are established and efficiency replaces redundancy.

How does a RACI chart accomplish this? To get a better understanding, let’s discuss the acronym and the process.

Free RACI Chart TemplateCheck out our free RACI chart template to increase project management efficiency.

What Does RACI mean?

RACI is a way of aligning tasks with involved parties in the most efficient manner. First, the acronym:

R = Responsible: Which position or department will be Responsible for completing each task?

A = Accountable: Which position or department will be Accountable for major tasks and the result? This oftentimes is different than the Responsible party.

C = Consulted: Which positions or departments must be Consulted? Consulted parties have a say in making decisions or tasks are completed. They are not responsible or accountable for the outcome.

I = Informed: Which positions or departments must be Informed while the tasks progress? These parties don’t need to provide input during the process but must be aware of decisions made.

How to Build a RACI Chart

As we explain how to build a RACI chart, you’ll better understand how this process works.

The first step in building a RACI chart is creating a horizontal list of all positions or departments involved. Assigning by position or department rather than by name makes your RACI chart applicable as personnel changes. Secondly, create a column with the project’s name divided into project phases or activities.

The following action is creating a vertical list named STEPS with an ordinary numerical order. Last but not least, build a TASKS column for the tasks involved in accomplishing the goal. This way you will be able to change the priority of the tasks simply by moving the task row, maintaining the step number frozen.

Assigning Tasks

Next up is assigning the RACI designation to each task. This is done across the horizontal spectrum:

  • Responsible: Each task requires one R assignment — and only one R assignment. One party must be Responsible for each task. That party must be empowered to handle the task.
  • Accountable: Not each task will need an A designation. Each major decision, and the final outcome, will need an A – and only one A.  Whether that A is the CEO, the plant manager or a department chair, that person will be Accountable.
  • Consulted: As with Accountable, not each task must have someone as Consulted. Some tasks may have multiple C’s assigned. Make sure that consulting is required, as it can slow down the process.
  • Informed: As many parties can be assigned as necessary. Sometimes I’s may feel like they need to be C’s. Good leaders will make these decisions.

By assigning one responsible person to each task, you:

  • Cut the redundancy of various people trying to do the same function.
  • Empower employees to take on leadership roles, increasing their job satisfaction and morale.
  • Speed up processes by limiting the number of voices that go into each decision.
  • Finally, you also establish communication channels from the beginning of the process.

One Final Step

As with any business process, it is important to analyze how your RACI chart worked. Some RACI functions will be ongoing. You should analyze the process frequently to ensure getting the best outcome and that everything is running efficiently. Some roles may change along the way. Other times you’ll learn you need to involve new parties or current parties may no longer need to be involved.

You can also analyze past RACI matrices to determine how to manage future projects.

The RACI system also gives employers an extra opportunity to evaluate employee performance. At first glance, they can see how well they perform within the RACI matrix.

Free RACI Chart TemplateTry out this effective project management strategy for your next complex project. Download our free RACI chart template here.

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