RACI Matrix: Clearly defining tasks and responsibilities

Are you - like many other companies - facing the problem of tasks and responsibilities not being clearly defined? Then you are probably familiar with the following issues: lack of communication between departments in cross-functional tasks, unclearly defined accountabilities for business processes, or tasks that are carried out slowly and error-prone. With the help of the RACI Matrix, you can effectively address these problems and ensure clarity in assigning responsibilities and tasks by creating a systematic framework. We will show you in four steps how to successfully set up a RACI diagram for your company.

What is a RACI Matrix?

The RACI Matrix is a commonly used tool in project management and organizational development, providing a clear overview of responsibilities and tasks within a project. It is also utilized in process management to define roles and responsibilities within processes. It assists the involved roles in clarifying process tasks and assigning tasks to relevant team members. The RACI Matrix provides answers to the following questions:

  • Who is responsible for a specific task or activity? 
  • Who makes the final decision and takes ownership? 
  • Which task requires collaboration with other roles/team members?
  • Who needs to be informed about the progress or results of a task? 
  • Who participates in the tasks? 
  • What role does each person play in the process?

What does RACI mean?

RACI is an acronym that stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. In the RACI Matrix, these four attributes serve as a link between the involved roles and the assigned activities. 

A person with the "Responsible" attribute is directly responsible for carrying out a task. They ensure that the expected outcome is achieved. In some cases, this role may not perform the task (completely) themselves but rather initiates it and delegates it to other team members. In rare cases, this status may be assigned when someone has disciplinary responsibility for other team members. In such cases, task execution may be mandated by instruction.

On the other hand, the "Accountable" person does not perform the tasks themselves but ensures that the results meet quality management expectations and requirements. Therefore, this person provides the necessary resources to achieve quality goals, reviews and approves activities, or releases processes upon completion.

Roles with the "Consulted" status review and sign off on the work before it is handed over. These individuals are consulted to provide their opinion or support before activities are implemented. They possess the expertise relevant to achieving a specific outcome or completing a task.

The "Informed" person is updated on the progress and completion of an activity. This can be done in two ways: either there is an obligation to inform (push model, where other team members must regularly inform the person about progress) or the person has the right to information (pull model, where the person actively seeks information from others). In some cases, this person may not be involved in any other aspect of the work result.

It is important to know that there is no universal validity regarding role designations. Therefore, all stakeholders should be familiar with the tasks, rights, and responsibilities of each role at the beginning of a project to ensure smooth communication and collaboration, minimize misunderstandings, and increase the efficiency of process work.

Example RACI Matrix

Let's assume there is an onboarding process for new colleagues. This leads to various sub-activities that can emerge from the onboarding process:

  1. Creation and review of contracts
  2. Development of an onboarding plan
  3. Preparation of the workspace
  4. Setup of IT accesses 
  5. Introduction to the team
  6. Introduction to the company's products or services
  7. Conducting relevant training sessions for daily work

A successful onboarding process requires the collaboration of multiple individuals and departments to ensure the seamless integration of new employees.

The involved individuals/departments include: 

  • HR department
  • Team leader
  • IT support
  • Department manager
  • New employee

Each person involved in the process is assigned a RACI role within each task. For the task "Development of an onboarding plan", the role assignments could look like this:

Responsible: HR department
The HR staff member is responsible for designing and implementing the onboarding plan. This person creates the onboarding plan, develops the necessary steps and activities in consultation with the team leader, and ensures that all essential resources are provided.

Accountable: Team leader
The team leader is accountable for the success of the onboarding process, sets the expectations and goals for the new employee, and regularly reviews the progress during the onboarding period.

Consulted: IT support
The IT staff member provides the required IT resources (such as setting up user accounts, email addresses, access rights, etc.). They ensure that all technical aspects required for the new employee's tasks are taken into account.

Assignment of the RACI roles

Informed: Department manager
The department manager is informed about the progress of the onboarding process to coordinate tasks within the team and redistribute them if necessary, with the goal of reducing workload or improving team efficiency. They ensure the smooth integration of the new employee into the team.

Consulted: New employee
The new employee actively participates in the onboarding process. They introduce themselves to the team, learn about the company's products or services, and receive training relevant to their daily work. Without their involvement, these tasks/activities cannot be carried out.

There may be situations or processes where a person's role changes constantly: The responsible person in one task may become the informed role in the next task and then the accountable person in the following task. To clearly distinguish responsibility areas within a task, it is helpful to use the RACI diagram to track the tasks.

The benefits of a RACI chart

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Clarity in assigning responsibilities

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Avoidance of responsibility gaps

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Transparency and traceability

quality management icon

Improved collaboration

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Conflict prevention and resolution

inhouse training

Increased motivation

How to create a RACI Matrix in BIC Process Design

Creating a BPMN diagram in BIC Process Design

Step 1: Create the diagram

  1. Navigate to the "New Diagram" entry in the context menu. Clicking on this entry will open a selection of available diagram types. Choose "Collaboration diagram (BPMN)" from the options. 
  2. Next, an input dialog will appear, allowing you to name the diagram.

Step 2: Modeling the Onboarding Process

After assigning a name, the selected BPMN diagram will automatically open. Place a pool from the symbol palette into the editor using drag & drop. Next, create lanes to represent the individuals involved in the process. Within each lane, model the tasks/activities of each role and add artifacts (data objects, norms, applications, risks, etc.).

Modeling onboarding process
RACI Matrix

Step 3: Opening the Matrix View

BIC Process Design automatically generates a RACI view based on the modeled process, without any additional steps. Select the matrix icon in the menu bar, and you will immediately access the automatically generated matrix view.

Depending on the process flow, all activities/tasks are listed vertically along the Y-axis. The roles involved in these tasks are displayed in columns side by side in alphabetical order. The type of connection (R, A, C, I) between the activity and the person is represented in the corresponding cells.

Step 4: Executing the Onboarding Process

Click on the Process Execution icon in the menu bar. Based on the process model, the activities, decisions, and related events will be listed in the form of an interactive checklist. The Process Execution view allows for a visual understanding of the process flow, making it easy for employees without BPMN knowledge to grasp the workflow quickly and effortlessly. Additionally, this approach allows for an easy "walkthrough" of the process, examining potential areas for optimization before automating it in BIC Process Execution.

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Execute the process

With one click to process execution

Create a new case in BIC Process Execution

Step 1

After releasing the "Onboarding Process" for automation in BIC Process Design, it will be directly displayed in BIC Process Execution. Now, click on the plus sign next to "Onboarding Process" and create a new case.

Step 2

In BIC Process Execution, a form is created for each task when creating a case. This form serves as an information source and input screen to complete the respective tasks within the Onboarding Process. Once a case is created, every team member will be automatically notified when a new task is due. This ensures transparent communication within the team, managed and automated through the tool. Email chaos, missed deadlines, and the cumbersome input of tasks into inflexible third-party systems are now things of the past.

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Automated form creation for individual tasks

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