What is a RACI Chart? Project Uses, Examples & Free Template

Your project’s success hinges on a single crucial factor: clarity.

woman writes a raci chart

When we say clarity, we’re talking about crystal-clear instructions on who does what. Everyone involved in the project, from employees to stakeholders, should know their roles and responsibilities inside out.

Any confusion or oversight can lead to misunderstandings or conflicts, derailing your project faster than you can imagine.

That’s where the RACI matrix comes in. When integrated into your project lifecycle (PLC), this simple yet powerful approach spells out project roles and responsibilities, guiding your team toward collaboration and improved outcomes.

Click here to get HubSpot’s free RACI Matrix Template for your team

What is a RACI chart?

A RACI chart, also called the responsibility assignment matrix, visually maps out the roles of every individual involved in a project across four categories: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

Each letter in the RACI acronym tells you who’s in charge of a specific task or deliverable in the project:

  • R for those who execute tasks (Responsible)
  • A for the decision-makers who hold ultimate responsibility (Accountable)
  • C for the trusted advisors whose insights refine project execution (Consulted)
  • I for those who track progress or take decisions at every project stage (Informed)

With this breakdown, every project participant knows their responsibilities, reducing mix-ups and driving project success.

What does RACI stand for?

RACI acronym

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RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

Here’s a closer look at each component:

Responsible

The Responsible person executes the task and is responsible for completing it. There can be several people responsible for the same task. Their mission is to perform the delegated task.

Example: Business analysts, developers, content writers, graphic designers.

Accountable

The Accountable person owns the task, approving deliverables and overseesing its completion. There’s only one accountable individual or authority per task. Their mission is to ensure the task is executed properly.

Example: Business owners, project managers, department heads, team leads.

Consulted

The Consulted person provides guidance and knowledge to help complete the task. They advise and share insights before big decisions are made, contributing to the task’s efficiency. There may be more than one individual consulting.

Example: Software architects, content editors, compliance officers, legal counsel.

Informed

The Informed person is kept aware of the project‘s progress but doesn’t actively intervene in its completion. There may be more than one person who fulfills this role. Their mission is to stay updated on the progress of the project or task.

Examples: Project committee members, executive leadership, external clients, customer support teams.

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RACI Responsible vs Accountable

The Responsible person is task-oriented, whereas the Accountable person is outcome-oriented.

Interestingly, the same person can sometimes be both Responsible and Accountable for a task. This overlap often occurs in small teams or startups where resources are limited.

For example, a project manager might be planning and executing a project task (Responsible) and ensuring its success (Accountable).

  • As Responsible, the project manager may directly handle specific tasks. For instance, they might develop the project timeline or create reports.
  • As Accountable, the project manager ensures all tasks are completed on time and meet the project’s standards. They provide updates to stakeholders and approve final deliverables.

Why is it important to define RACI roles?

Defining RACI roles holds a single person or team accountable for each task. This has a twofold effect: 1) it reduces confusion and overlap, and 2) it promotes ownership and commitment to results.

Additionally, it helps you avoid situations where multiple team members are working on the same thing or against each other, improving team communication and collaboration.

Think of it like this: A RACI chart facilitates project processes. It helps in identifying bottlenecks and addressing issues, leading to better project outcomes without delays.

How to Create a RACI Matrix

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Eager to implement RACI into your team’s project planning? Follow these steps to create a RACI matrix for your company:

Step 1: Define the project scope and goals.

Wrap your head around what the project is all about — project scope, objectives, deliverables, and timelines. List out every single task or activity required for completion. This way, when you‘re outlining roles and responsibilities later, they’ll sync perfectly with project requirements and goals.

Let us explain — suppose you’re leading a software development project to create a new mobile app for a client.

Here, your goal can be to create a user-friendly, task-management app for busy professionals. As for the scope, the app may offer relevant features like intuitive task creation, organization tools, scheduling, reminders, and progress tracking.

Step 2: Create project tasks and milestones.

Break down the project into smaller tasks and milestones. Each task should be clear and measurable to ensure accountability and progress tracking.

Following our mobile app example, tasks may include gathering requirements, UI/UX design, frontend development, backend development, testing, and deployment. Milestones could be completing the design phase, achieving code freeze, running user acceptance tests (UAT), and launching the app on app stores.

Step 3: Identify project roles and stakeholders.

Identify all the players who’ll be executing tasks and making key calls throughout the project lifecycle. Project managers, team leads, subject matter experts, UX designers, clients, and other relevant stakeholders—round up the whole group.

Step 4: Assign responsibilities with RACI.

Next, for each task or milestone, decide who‘s doing what. Let’s continue with our mobile app example to illustrate.

  • Responsible (R): Assign specific tasks to team members based on their skills. For instance, you can have UI/UX designers tackle wireframes and mockups, while developers take care of coding.
  • Accountable (A): As the project head, you‘re ultimately accountable for the project’s success. You’ll oversee the entire development process, aligning it with client needs and making those crucial calls to keep things on track.
  • Consulted (C): Rope in stakeholders and experts for advice. For instance, you can consult with clients to gather requirements or loop in QA testers to ensure quality standards are met.
  • Informed (I): Keep stakeholders informed about the project. Share milestone achievements with stakeholders, update clients on progress, and keep end-users in the loop about app releases.
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Step 5: Map out the RACI matrix.

It’s time to create the RACI matrix.

List all project tasks vertically and roles horizontally. Each intersection represents who’s involved in what. Use clear and concise language so that every participant knows their (and others’) roles.

For example:

Task

Project Manager

Developers

UI/UX Designers

QA Testers

Client

Requirements gathering

C

R

C

 

R

UI/UX design

C

 

R

 

C

Frontend development

 

R

 

C

 

Backend development

 

R

 

C

 

Testing

     

R

C

Deployment

A

       

Step 6: Review and validate.

Take a moment to review the RACI matrix with stakeholders.

Make sure it aligns perfectly with project goals and expectations. You must also validate and adjust each role’s responsibilities based on team and client feedback.

Step 7: Share with the team.

Once it’s good to go, share the RACI matrix with team members and project stakeholders.

This way, everyone will know their part to play and what’s expected in terms of teamwork, communication, and decision-making as the project unfolds.

Note: Creating a RACI matrix isn’t a one-and-done task. Continue monitoring it throughout the project lifecycle, tweaking as needed to keep up with shifting needs, team dynamics, and scope adjustments.

Free RACI Matrix Template

Don‘t want to start from scratch? Use HubSpot’s Free RACI Matrix Template to create a RACI chart for your projects.

Compatible with Excel, Google Sheets, PowerPoint, and Google Slides, this template is designed to enhance project coordination and productivity and improve communication flow.

Use it to simplify task delegation by breaking down duties and doling out roles and responsibilities in one convenient document — and effortlessly keep tabs on project progress.

Download our RACI Matrix Template

When should you use a RACI matrix for project management?

Use a RACI Matrix for project management in the following situations:

  • Complex projects with many parts and players: RACI keeps everyone aligned and clarifies responsibilities, preventing tasks from falling through the cracks.
  • Projects involving multiple departments or teams: It eliminates overlaps and gaps in responsibilities, sets clear expectations, and reduces the learning curve.
  • Project reviews: It helps evaluate and adjust roles to ensure ongoing alignment and effectiveness.
  • Managing numerous stakeholders: It clarifies who to approach for information or decisions, maintaining clear and efficient communication lines.
  • Teams struggling with responsibility clarity: It defines accountability, distributes workloads evenly, and prevents finger-pointing.
  • High team turnover: It provides a structured outline of responsibilities, helping new hires understand their roles quickly, and streamlines decision-making processes.

RACI Matrix Example

Here’s an example of a RACI matrix for a marketing campaign project, created using our free RACI template:

RACI Matrix Example

Here, the main tasks are: content creation, social media management, and performance tracking and communication.

The RACI matrix assigns roles (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) for each task. This ensures everyone’s on the same page and keeps the communication flowing smoothly throughout the campaign.

Tips for Creating an Effective RACI Matrix

  • Engage stakeholders early: Get stakeholder input before you start with RACI. Put in the effort to understand their perspectives and expectations and accordingly chalk out the tasks and roles.
  • Adopt a user-centric approach: If you want your team to continue using the RACI matrix, make it user-friendly. Don’t overcomplicate it—use clear and concise language and avoid jargon, so nobody has trouble grasping their roles and responsibilities.
  • Prioritize clarity and ownership: Many users make the mistake of limiting the RACI scope to role assignment. While that’s crucial, focus on ownership. Each individual should feel accountable for completing their tasks successfully.
  • Don’t overload roles: Be mindful of workload distribution when assigning tasks. Avoid overloading individuals or teams with too many responsibilities. Otherwise, task owners may get burned out and become less effective at their roles.
  • Choose decision-making authority: For every task, the whole team should know who has the final say on specific tasks for decisions to avoid confusion and conflicts.
  • Encourage collaboration and communication: While the RACI matrix delineates individual roles, it thrives on collaboration and open communication. Encourage team members to share insights, seek support, and provide feedback to boost overall project performance.
  • Provide training and support: When assigning roles, make sure each participant has the necessary skills and resources to fulfill their responsibilities. If needed, offer training sessions or access to relevant tools and resources to support them.
  • Regularly review and revise: Treat your RACI chart as a dynamic document that evolves with the project. Seek participant feedback and review it regularly to assess its effectiveness and relevance. Adjust the roles and responsibilities as needed so it’s always in alignment with project objectives.
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RACI Model Alternatives

RACI is an excellent project management approach, but it’s not your only option.

Here are the top RACI model alternatives to consider:

DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed)

DACI offers a clear roadmap for assigning roles based on involvement levels. The Driver takes the lead, the Approver gives the final nod, Contributors actively contribute, and those Informed stay updated throughout the project lifecycle.

This model is a perfect fit for decision-making processes or projects involving multiple stakeholders who need to be engaged and informed about outcomes.

RASCI (Responsible, Accountable, Support, Consulted, Informed)

RASCI combines responsibility with support. The Responsible ones tackle tasks, the Accountable party ensures success, Support providers offer assistance, those Consulted provide valuable expertise, and the Informed are kept updated.

It’s a handy tool for projects where collaboration and support are essential, like cross-functional initiatives or team-based projects.

RAPID (Responsible, Accountable, Perform, Input, Decide):

RAPID outlines roles according to various levels of involvement and decision-making. Responsible individuals perform tasks, Accountable individuals oversee outcomes, Performers get things done, Input providers offer insights, and Deciders make the final calls.

RAPID is ideal for complex projects with intricate decision-making processes, especially in hierarchical organizations.

Make RACI a Team-Driven Initiative

Once you’ve created your RACI chart, focus on the next steps: communication, alignment, and execution.

Hold a kickoff meeting to discuss the chart with your team. Use this meeting as an opportunity to clear any confusion and ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. It’s also a chance to gain buy-in from team members, creating a sense of ownership and commitment to the project.

Encourage open communication and collaboration among team members to address any issues or roadblocks. And keep updating the RACI chart as needed to align with evolving project goals and objectives.

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منبع: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/raci-chart