When it’s OK to get RACI in the office

So you’ve finished a piece of work and it’s been approved. You think the task is complete but, out of nowhere it seems, you’ve got an irate manager demanding to know why they weren’t involved.

You’re now having to decide whether to spend more time on the task making potentially significant changes or tell them it’s too late.

Awkward.

Luckily there’s a useful tool from the project management world that can help us avoid this type of situation: a ‘RACI’ outlines all those involved in completing a task and what their involvement is.

So not that kind of racy then?

No, sorry, it’s not that kind of racy. RACI is an acronym for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. You might also hear it referred to as a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) or with an added ‘S’ in the middle as RASCI.

Responsible
Those responsible are the ones who actually do the work required to complete the task. If additional people are involved or delegated to in order to achieve the task, these can be included as Supporters (the ‘S’ in RASCI).

Accountable
The accountable person is the one that is answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the task. This is the person who actually signs it off, and for this reason there should only be one accountable individual.

Consulted
All those individuals whose opinions must be sought in relation to the task should be identified as to be ‘consulted’.

Informed
Lastly, those individuals that need to be kept up-to-date on progress, but are not required to contribute to the task in any other way, are the ones that need to be informed.

A RACI is particularly useful if the task is likely to involve, or be of interest to, people from outside your team or department. Produce the RACI at the start of the task and ensure you share it with your stakeholders to find out if there’s anyone else that should be involved.

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