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

Flow Chart

The flow chart is a simple, but important, graphic organizer. Placing the states or steps of an event or process into the correct sequence allows you to reach conclusions and make predictions.

However, its simplicity means we don’t always work to be consistent and can benefit from a little effort to ensure users are aligned.

I am a huge fan of including flow charts in all process and procedure documents.

Steps for Building a flow chart

Capture

Capture the events or steps of the process. Resist the urge to arrange them sequentially and concentrate on capturing the events/steps only.

Cull

If there are more than eight steps in a flow chart we start creating cognitive overload. If a process or procedure has more than eight steps you need to:

  1. Ensure the steps are at the right level, sometimes we have substeps represented and we can cull that. Ensure they are all on the same level of process/procedure/task.
  2. Decide we need to break the procedure into multiple documents. This is a great way to decide what work instructions are necessary.
  3. Look for opportunity for process improvement.

Sequence the events and draw the flow chart

The focus now shifts to temporal relations. The correct sequential arrangements of steps or events helps to reach conclusions about past events and prepare for future events.

Example

I’m writing the procedure for my mornings, I capture the following:

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Take shower
  3. Take dog out
  4. Get dressed
  5. Decide on tea
  6. Heat water
  7. Drink tea
  8. Read for 30 minutes
  9. Deal with morning email
  10. Snuggle with dog

Taking a look at the list I realize that not everything is on the same level of process/procedure/task and end up with a shorter list.

  1. Breakfast
  2. Take shower
  3. Take dog out
  4. Get dressed
  5. Read for 30 minutes
  6. Deal with morning email
  7. Snuggle with dog

Notice how I combined all the tea stuff into a breakfast category. When brainstorming my list I put a lot of weight on tea, because it is important to me (yes I have been using tea as a training example since 2005, I just love tea).

I can then put them in sequence:

Flow Chart for my morning

When I was making things sequential I realized that two of my activities (read and dog snuggle) were concurrent, so I combined them as one step.

Qualitative Risk Analysis

Risk can be associated with a number of different types of consequences, impacting different objectives. The types of consequences to be analyzed are decided when planning the assessment. The context statement is checked to ensure that the consequences to be analyzed align with the purpose of the assessment and the decisions to be made. This can be revisited during the assessment as more is learned.

Methods used in analyzing risks can be qualitative, semiquantitative, or quantitative. The decision here will be on the intended use, the availability of reliable data, and the decision-making needs of the organization. In ICH Q9 this is also the level of formality.

Risk Is….

The combination of the probability of the occurrence of the harm and the severity of that harm.

The effect of uncertainty on objectives

Often characterized by reference to the potential event and consequences or combination of these

Often expressed in terms of a combination of the consequences of an event (including in changes in circumstances) and the associated likelihood of the occurrence

 

 

Qualitative assessments define consequence (or severity), likelihood, and level of risk by significance levels, such as “high,” “medium,” or “low.” They work best when supporting analysis that have a narrow application or are within another quality system, such as change control.

Qualitative

Below is a good way to break down consequences and likelihood for a less formal assessment.

Consequence

Increase Likelihood

Severity

People

Assets

Requirements

Ability to Meet Regulations

  1. Never Heard of in Industry

B. Has Occurred in Industry

C. Occurs Several Times Per Year in Company

D. Occurs Several Times Per Year at Location

0

No Injury

No Damage

No Effect

No Impact

Manage for Continuous Improvement

1

Slight Injury

Slight Damage

Slight Effect

Slight Impact

Incorporate Risk – Reduction Measures

2

Minor Injury

Minor Damage

Limited Effect

Limited Impact

3

Major Injury

Localized Damage

Localized Effect

Considerable Impact

Intolerable – Immediate Corrective Action

4

1-3 Fatalities

Major Damage

Major Effect

National Impact

5

Multiple Fatalities

Extensive Damage

Massive Effect

International Impact

 

Using the Outcome Identification Loop

The Outcome Identification Loop asks four questions around a given outcome which can be very valuable in understanding a proposed design, event, or risk.

The four questions are:

1Who else might this affect?Stakeholder Question
2What else might affect them?Stakeholder Impact Question
3What else might affect this?System/analysis Design Question
4What else might this affect?Consequence Question?
4 questions in the Outcome Identification Loop
Outcome Identification Loop

Through answering these questions, outcomes and relationships to further define a central question, and can be used to shape problem-solving, risk mitigation, and process improvement.

Questions 1 “Who else might this affect?’ and 2 “What else might affect them?’ are paired questions from stakeholder identification and analysis techniques.

Question 3 “What else might affect this?” relates to system analysis and design and can be fed by, and lead to, the chains of outcomes elicited using analysis methods, such as process modelling and root cause analysis.

Question 4 “What else might this affect?” considers uncertainty and risk.

These four questions can be iterative. Use them near the beginning to define the problem and then at the end to tie together the entire work.

Is-Is Not Matrix

The Is-Is Not matrix is a great tool for problem-solving, that I usually recommend to help frame the problem. It is based on the 5W2H methodology and then asks the question of what is different between the problem and what has been going right.

ISIS NOT
WhatWhat specific objects have the deviation? What is the specific deviation?What similar object(s) could reasonably have the deviation, but does not? What other deviations could reasonably be observed, but are not?
WhereWhere is the object when the deviation is observed (geographically)? Where is the deviation on the object?Where else could the object be when the deviations are observed but are not? Where else could the deviation be located on the object, but is not?
WhenWhen was the deviation observed first (in clock and calendar time)? When since that time has the deviation been observed? Any pattern? When, in the object’s history or life cycle, was the deviation observed first?When else could the deviation have been observed, but was not? When since that time could the deviation have been observed, but was not? When else, in the object’s history or life cycle, could the deviation have been observed first, but was not?
ExtentHow many objects have the deviation? What is the size of a single deviation? How many deviations are on each object? What is the trend? (…in the object?) (…in the number of occurrences of the deviation?) (…in the size of the deviation?)How many objects could have the deviation, but do not? What other size could the deviation be, but is not? How many deviations could there be on each object, but are not? What could be the trend, but is not? (…in the object?) (…in the number of occurrences of the deviation?) (…in the size of the deviation?)
WhoWho is involved (avoid blame, stick to roles, shifts, etc) To whom, by whom, near whom does this occurWho is not involved? Is there a trend of a specific role, shift, or another distinguishing factor?
Is-Is Not Matrix

Here is a template for use.