I first heard the term RACI in the late 90’s. An Oil Company in town, gathered together all of the vendors (I worked for one of them at the time), and provided information of their new procedures and policies, and one of these was the RACI document. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. The client adopted it wholeheartedly for all kinds of activities, especially projects. It proved to be a powerful tool. RACI stands for:
R – who is Responsible for or owns the problem/project
A – who ultimately holds the Accountability for the activity, generally they have to approve the work
C – who should be Consulted as they have information that is needed
I – who needs to be informed – they do not need to be consulted, just informed.
All of the above can be used to detail what roles in which deliverables, your stakeholders will play. This is a way to understand their roles and responsibilities better. A RACI is a matrix, with roles across the top (horizontal) and activities on the vertical axis (deliverables). Under the role and next to an activity, one of the above letters is placed based on the accountability a role will have in each of the specific deliverables.
The very cool part is that you can quickly scan and see if there are activities with no coverage, or people with no responsibilities – perhaps they should not be on the project! That is when another letter S (RASCI) can be used – it is meant to designate a support role. Not every BA or company will use that particular designation.
There are some rules for a RACI:
- All activities need at least one R and only one A, as there is only one person accountable for an activity.
- An activity called ‘Install Servers,’ could have more than one person responsible to accomplish it, however there will only be one person accountable to ensure the work is done.
This is a quick look at RACI’s. If you would like to research more, this article is a great place to start.