The RACI (and RASCI) Chart

What is a RACI chart?

A RACI chart is a simple matrix used to assign roles and responsibilities for each task, milestone, or decision. By clearly mapping out which roles are involved in each task and at which level, you can eliminate confusion and answer the age-old question, Who’s doing what?”

RACI is a useful complement to a process map, since it can get into more detailed and specific activities than a high-level process map. Think of a process map at one level of abstraction and RACI as the next level of detail

What does RACI stand for?

RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed. Each letter in the acronym represents a level of task responsibility.

When to use RACI

RACI’s are best used in procedures as part of the responsibilities section or to start each section in a long procedure.

RACI’s are great tools that can help:

  • Design or re-design processes more efficiently by highlighting decisions
  • Clarify overlapping, redundant, “bottle-necked,” or inconsistent responsibilities
  • Structure and distribute responsibility and authority
  • Establish clear lines of communication
  • Reduce duplication of efforts; pinpoint what can “come off the plate”

RACI definitions

A RACI is a matrix of tasks or deliverables and the roles associated with them.

Each box in the matrix identifies that role’s function in the task

  • Responsible – primary role performing the work
  • Accountable – role primarily responsible for the work getting done (and done correctly)
  • Consulted – roles providing input into the task or deliverable. Consulted means prior to the decision/activity.
  • Informed – roles to be informed of the outcome of the task or deliverable so that they may fulfill execute their role in the process or other process.

I’m a big fan of adding Supporting, and doing a RASCI. Supporting is very helpful in identifying individuals who provide support services, and often capture indirect accountabilities.

RASCI Chart

Key point – only one Responsible and one Accountable role for any task or deliverable.  In some processes, Responsible and Accountable may be the same role

How to create a RACI

Follow these 3 steps, using the RACI chart example below as your guide:

  • Enter all responsibilities in the procedure across the top row.
  • List all procedural steps/tasks, milestones, and decisions down the left column.
  • For each step, assign a responsibility value to each role or person on the team.

Ensure the following:

  • Every task has one Responsible person (and only one!).
  • There’s one (and only one!) Accountable party assigned to each task to allow for clear decision-making.
  • If you have a lot of C and I roles on your matrix, make sure you have an easy and lightweight way to keep them informed in the procedure.

Some points to consider:

  • Have a representative from each of the major functions that participate in the process
  • Reach consensus on all Accountabilities and Responsibilities
  • Consider the emotional aspects of documenting “A”s and “R”s, including job justification
  • Eliminate excessive “C”s and “I”s
  • Consider the organization’s culture

Review the RACI chart vertically to:

  • Avoid under- or over-committing positions or team members
  • Eliminate unnecessary gates and bottlenecks
  • Designate appropriate skill sets

Review the RACI chart horizontally to:

  • Clarify any ambiguous division of labor
  • Ensure adequate continuity across decisions and process steps
  • Ensure accountability and authority to get the job done

Although the RACI is a simple tool, the process of creating it and having it agreed is a political process.

Developing RACI charts surfaces many organizational issues because it confronts the three elements of roles and responsibilities:

  • Role Conception:  what people think their jobs are and how they have been trained to perform them
  • Role Expectation:  what others in the organization think another person’s job is and how it should be carried out
  • Role Behavior:  what people actually do in carrying out their job

Example

  Deviation CreatorArea ResponsibleQAInvestigation TeamSite Head
Take real-time action to minimize and contain the effect of an event RAI
Assemble cross functional team for Triage  RAI
Determine if the event is a deviation  RCAC
Define batch association strategy  CRAI
Define Containment  CRAC
Create Deviation in eQMS in 24 hr  RAI
Gather Data  CA/RCC

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