Working on any project requires clearly defined goals and objectives, along with a clear representation of the roles and responsibilities of each member in the project. A RACI chart is the diagrammatical representation of the critical roles and responsibilities of each team member against major tasks within the project. The RACI chart also helps in maintaining a balance between the workloads of the projects and allows the decision-makers to make the right decision.
A successful project requires limitless efforts and often begins without having consent on the decisions of the authority. It causes uneven anxiety and frustration in the organization, but a RACI chart can be the most effective technique in avoiding any of these painful discovery processes.
The RACI chart is in the form of a matrix where the tasks, deliverables, and decisions and responsibilities are paste on the vertical y-axis. In contrast, the name and role of the team members are paste on the horizontal x-axis. This simple but useful technique helps in establishing more clarity in decision making and increases the chances of the success of the project.
What does RACI mean?
RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. This acronym of RACI represents the roles of each member of the project against major tasks.
These four important aspects of RACI mean:
It is the most important assignment, and every task has someone responsible for accomplishing it. It denotes the person who will hold the responsibility of completing the task involved in the project. The member responsible for a particular has a major role to play in accomplishing the assigned task.
It stands for those who are accountable for the success or the failure of the project. An accountable person is also a decision-maker who decides whether the project is ready for the sign-off. For example, while designing any app, the developer holds the responsibility of creating the API. In contrast, the accountable person will take the final call whether the app is ready for the delivery or not. Generally, the project manager is accountable for the completion of the projects to his superiors. He/she is also the decision-maker among the project team members.
A subject matter expert is available at every organization that gives inputs and advice on a particular task. This role involves two-way communication where the members seek advice from the subject matter expert who, in return, will give valuable inputs regarding the specific tasks. Often the subject matter experts help you with the best advice in completing a particular task and overcome the incoming hurdles during the project journey.
It is usually the senior leaders who get every update about the progress of every task. Any major inputs in the task, usage of the resources, any problem in task completion, any change in the strategy, etc., the senior manager or executive must know even a single change in the plan.
How to create a RACI chart
In project management, creating a RACI chart is an important aspect. It requires several steps, including:
STEP 1: Find the team members
The foremost step is the identification of team members, including project manager, executive sponsor, software developer, and business analyst for the project.
STEP 2: Identify the major milestones of the work
Identify the different tasks and processes for the project work. For example, if the project is about website building, then the project will involve tasks like website design, testing, and client approval.
STEP 3: Draw a matrix
The third and important step in project management is creating a matrix of the RACI chart by using MS Excel or any software programs. Each row will represent the team members, and each column will denote the tasks or milestones of the project.
STEP 4: Fill each box with the corresponding R, A, C, and I
After creating the matrix, assign the role to the team members for every task corresponding to the four different aspects of RACI. In case of the task of client approval for a website, the project manager will be responsible for getting the approval, an executive sponsor will be accountable for the completion of the task, and the developer must be informed about the outcome.
STEP 5: Discuss, analyze, and get approval from the project team.
In a project management system, discussions and analysis play a very important role. While assigning the roles and responsibilities, it is important to discuss every aspect of the project with the team member and get their approval.
STEP 6: Provide everyone a copy
After filling the RACI chart, provide every member of the team with a copy of the RACI chart my emailing them. It will ensure that everyone among the team members knows the roles and responsibilities of their own and their team members in a particular task.
RACI chart is a useful technique for making project management easier by delivering many benefits. It clearly defines the task ownership, helps in decision making, and improves the onboarding of every team member. It is simple to create and easy to communicate.