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?
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.
Let's assume there is an onboarding process for new colleagues. This leads to various sub-activities that can emerge from the onboarding process:
- Creation and review of contracts
- Development of an onboarding plan
- Preparation of the workspace
- Setup of IT accesses
- Introduction to the team
- Introduction to the company's products or services
- 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.
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.
Clarity in assigning responsibilities
Avoidance of responsibility gaps
Transparency and traceability
Conflict prevention and resolution