Organizational Development Consultant

Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #13 Roles and Responsibility Charting/RACI

February 7, 2015

“We will need to change some of our existing processes and ways of working with other departments when we implement new technology next month. I’m expecting complete chaos. How can I avoid confusion and bad feelings?”

#13: RACI

What is Roles and Responsibilities Charting/RACI?

RACI is a method to agree and document roles and responsibilities.

RACI stands for:

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Where most other methods document only the person who is accountable for a decision or activity, RACI also documents who will be involved in doing the work, who will be consulted before a decision is taken, and who will be informed after the decision is taken or action accomplished.

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When to use RACI

  • When working across departments, groups or organizations where roles and responsibilities are not clear, and therefore duplication occurs or nothing gets done
  • When changing a process or way of working
  • When you want to communicate the difference between how something was done in the past and how it will be done in the future
  • When introducing a new way of working
  • When decision making authority is unclear
  • When tasks are performed or decisions made at the wrong level of the organization
  • When managing the interfaces is difficult
  • Where finger pointing occurs when things go wrong
  • Where ambiguities exist

How to use RACI

  1. Define the scope of exercise, i.e. the start and end points of a process.
  2. Document the key activities in the process on an Excel spreadsheet or Word document.
  3. Determine those people or positions involved on the other axis of your spreadsheet or document.
  4. Hold a meeting with representatives of each stakeholder group to define the RACI.
    • Review the purpose of the RACI. Explain what it stands for and how it will be used.
    • Confirm the scope and key activities with the group.
    • Agree who has the ‘A’ for each activity.
    • Fill in the Rs, Cs, and Is for each activity.
    • Review the RACI for overall accuracy.
    • Agree the communication and implementation plan.
  5. Communicate the results to all stakeholders.
  6. Enforce the new roles through the use of new job descriptions, measures, targets, etc. as required.
  7. Review the RACI with key stakeholders on a periodic basis to look for opportunities for improvement.

In Summary:

RACI is an excellent tool to articulate roles and responsibilities between groups and individuals.

  1. Define the scope of exercise.
  2. Document the key activities.
  3. Determine those people or positions involved.
  4. Hold a meeting with representatives of each stakeholder group to define the RACI.
  5. Communicate the results to all stakeholders.
  6. Implement the new roles.
  7. Review the RACI with key stakeholders on a periodic basis.

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