The RACI matrix is used to assign and define the degree of responsibility that corresponds to each of the people who are involved in carrying out a project.
It is also known as a responsibility allocation matrix. Its purpose is to be able to establish the different roles and responsibilities that each person who forms in carrying out a project must assume.
As a consequence, it is recommended that it be prepared at the beginning of a project. So that from the beginning it is clear and established the role and responsibility that each person who participates in a project will assume. This also ensures that greater collaboration is achieved by all participants.
What does each letter that makes up the name of the RACI matrix mean
The name of the RACI matrix is made up of four letters and each letter has a meaning. The meaning of each letter is as follows:
Without a doubt, the R is the letter that indicates who assumes responsibility. This letter defines the role of the person who is in charge of carrying out a certain task. Therefore, you take responsibility for turning in completed homework on time and in the established manner.
Similarly, the letter A determines who approves. The role of the person who will act as approver is to accept and approve the task submitted by the responsible person. In other words, the approver certifies that the work has been carried out according to the required requirements.
For its part, the letter C indicates who is consulted. In general, they are experts or knowledgeable about a topic and task who are consulted for their opinions and suggestions on some aspect of the project tasks. The external consulted his opinion on some aspect that must be taken into account in the realization of the project, since he is an expert on the subject.
Finally, the letter I determines who reports. The role of these people involves every individual who must be informed about the process of evolution and development of the tasks that are part of the project. They must also be informed when tasks have been completed.
Benefits of making a RACI matrix
The main benefits to be achieved when a RACI matrix is made are:
- The roles and responsibilities of each of the participants involved in a project are clearly defined.
- It is possible to determine which person assumes the responsibility of rendering accounts with respect to the tasks or works that must be carried out.
- It allows balancing the workloads between the people, teams or departments involved in the development of the project.
- It facilitates a controlled monitoring of the evolution and performance of the tasks and work required to successfully complete the development of the project.
How to build a RACI matrix
To develop a RACI matrix, the following steps must be followed:
First, the tasks to be performed within a project are determined and placed as the rows that make up the matrix.
Second, the people involved in the development of the project are identified and placed in the form of columns within the matrix formation.
Third, the letters of the word that make up the name of the RACI matrix are placed. By assigning each letter in each task, it is possible to define who of the people involved will be responsible, who approves, who is consulted and who must be informed in the execution of each project task.
Finally, it will be possible to determine if all the work is well distributed, if there is any empty space and if there are duplications. This in order to verify that everything is well formed and avoid later problems.
Advantages and disadvantages of applying a RACI matrix
The advantages that can be achieved in carrying out a project by applying the RACI matrix are the following:
1. There is an agile and simple communication process
Usually, communication turns out to be simpler and faster, since the RACI matrix allows you to clearly visualize the role and function that each person should play. This does not eliminate, but it does minimize communication problems between the people involved in the project.
2. Improve productivity
Obviously, by minimizing communication problems, this contributes to a better use of time and as a consequence an increase in productivity is achieved. The time to complete each task is shortened and this streamlines the overall execution process.
3. Proper distribution of work
In addition, the RACI matrix allows you to visualize the responsibilities and functions, so it can be identified if the workload is distributed in a proportionate way. If it is possible to determine that a person in charge has an excessive workload assigned, the necessary adjustments are made prior to the execution of the project. Achieving a more balanced distribution of burdens and responsibilities.
4. Expectations are met
Indeed, when applying this tool, the results obtained at the end of a project are very similar to the results that are expected to be obtained at the beginning of the project. This occurs because you can better control all the tasks that must be developed. In addition, each person knows specifically what they are responsible for in the entire project execution process.
Although the advantages are great and numerous, there can also be disadvantages to the RACI matrix.
- At first it can be excessively complex to apply, which has a negative effect on its understanding.
- Although the RACI matrix is a great tool, it is not worth just creating it, but you also have to comply with it.
- In line with the above, for those who are not familiar with the matrix, it can be expensive to generate it for the first time.
- There is the possibility that there are projects that do not require planning of this type, so the creation of the matrix may be more something that slows the project, than something that drives it.
In conclusion, the RACI matrix is a very useful tool that can be applied in any type of project. Since it determines the roles and functions of all the people who participate in its realization. This favors better control and the achievement of better results at the end of the project.