~ By Royston Morgan
RACI is an acronym that stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed.
A RACI chart is a matrix of all the activities or decision making authorities undertaken in an organisation set against all the people or roles. At each intersection of activity and role it is possible to assign somebody responsible, accountable, consulted or informed for that activity or decision.
When you hear these types of comments in an organisation a RACI Analysis may be overdue:
When the analysis is done and the RACI matrix populated, any ambiguities need to be resolved. The matrix is reviewed and questions are asked of the data pattern to explore what it is telling us. The way to do this is to proceed along the vertical and then the horizontal axes in turn and for each column or row asking: If I find…then what does this mean?
Developing RACI charts surfaces many organisational issues because it reconciles the three elements of roles and responsibilities:
RACI is a useful tool which can become overused and be a catch all for all types of problems, so be sensible about the level of granularity for the definition of tasks/activities. Take it to a deep enough level that it is meaningful and at a level of that is sensible. Who is responsible for making the coffee is not required. It is also important to stay focused on the original reason for undertaking the RACI exercise and ensure that this goal is achieved. Rather than creating a perfect RACI covering the organisation in exquisite detail be realistic and understand that 80% of the reality of a situation will be more than the organisation ever knew before the exercise was started.
This article is part of a series from a book on popular consulting techniques.