Why RACI matrix?
Responsibilities should be clearly defined in each project. Regardless of the size of the team, everyone has to understand the role assigned to them, ie everyone has to know what activities and tasks they are responsible for.
One way to define each team member's role is to use a RACI matrix. In the original version, it is a diagram system that names the people who are somehow involved in this task for all tasks that arise. This is intended to reduce confusion about responsibilities and increase the efficiency of the project. This makes decisions faster, the responsibility is clear and the workload is evenly distributed.
RACI matrix / diagram
If you want to explicitly communicate to a project, the RACI matrix can help. RACI organizes your project so everyone knows what's going on. With RACI, who is responsible, is responsible, must be advised and kept informed.
Let's break it up. This is what your project delegation looks like with RACI.
Responsible - who does the job?
Responsible - who makes decisions and takes action for the task (s).
Consulted - Who is informed about decisions and tasks?
Informed - Who will be informed about decisions and actions during the project?
Let us better understand RACI with a simplified example. Hans is developing the software function X, which will be integrated into the software function Y developed by Jens. Klaus is the project manager and Irina is in marketing. Hans is responsible for Feature X, Klaus is responsible and Jens needs to be consulted, as his feature will integrate into Hans's. Finally, Irina only needs to be informed when the task is completed.
What makes RACI useful?
It informs the organization about the workload of its employees because it shows which role (s) are assigned to each person. For example, the organization can see if someone has been put into the responsible role too often or not. In other words, this person has a lot or too few tasks to perform. So the organization knows if anyone has too many or more responsibilities.
Use RACI to successfully complete a project because all stakeholders are affected. This reduces miscommunication and increases productivity. So if a task has been completed incorrectly RACI tells you who was involved and ultimately responsible.
In short, RACI makes it easy for you to have the right conversation with the right people. In return, saves everyone time.
RACI users: What do the PMs think about this type of responsibility assignment matrix?
- Working with this matrix can lead to confusion about required actions:
- This tool explains each person's role, but the actions required for each role can be unclear. Some say that it is not clear if the person in charge or the person responsible plans the task. If you say so, you can look at RACI this way - apply the matrix as you see fit. You choose whether the person in charge or the responsible person plans the task.
- The advisory role is unclear. The project manager and the interviewee have to decide whether the people consulted only give direction when they are asked or if they indicate a direction, if they think fit, and ensure that their input is implemented.
- PMs believe that the RACI matrix does not define a team with bad morale. Before RACI can be effective, you need to have a team that has no problems. RACI is not a tool that repairs a dysfunctional team. RACI improves the flow of communication in a coherent group.
- It gives the impression that this is the case because it is a separate role and therefore another person. Some feel that if the responsible person and the person responsible are different people, it means that the person responsible is not responsible for his actions. Alternatively, this could be sorted out between these two roles.
- , PMs criticize these because they feel that the variations / alternatives are trying to compensate for the original design of the matrix. If it had been well designed, one version of the matrix would suffice. On the other hand, the selection of alternatives / variants means that the matrix is flexible for the needs of the team.
- RACI is a tool to organize team members in accordance with the objective of the project. If there are aspects of RACI that are too vague, consider this as an opportunity for the PM to think outside of the "Matrix," aka Box, and adapt that tool to their team - assuming that is appropriate.
- PM professionals have found that they have benefited from using the RACI matrix by following these 6 steps:
- List of project tasks
- Identify the project participants
- Know the responsibility and responsibility for each task together with its stakeholders
- At least one stakeholder responsible for each task
- Only a responsible stakeholder
- The final step involves a discussion with all stakeholders and will be discussed in the next part of this article. This is to ensure that stakeholders understand their role. This is a recommended use of RACI for IT projects.
, In summary, the person in the F-roll, Facilitate, organized the activities for the Scrum project, as shown in the figure below. The use of RACI in a scrum context stimulated an interesting discussion among PM professionals. Some felt that this model would mean recognizing a job well done or being blamed for poorly performing work for one person - which would affect team cohesion. This type of organization would influence the foundations of Scrum - self-organization. Counter arguments included, one must consider the extent to which RACI is applied. To harness RACI to its potential, it is suggested that you find a balance between strengthened roles and responsibilities and flexibility in a self-organizing team. Is that possible?
How to let RACI work for you
As mentioned above, this type of responsibility allocation matrix is effective. To know how to use this model, you should analyze, analyze, analyze! Balance is your key to success with RACI. Having too many or too few people in each role slows down the completion of your project tasks or even prevents completion.
- One responsibility per task. If you have more than one, it would be as if several people have a car. It does not work! If there is no driver, it will be difficult to move this car forward - no decisions or actions are taken for the project.
- The right amount of people in charge. Too many people are assigned to the same job, and you have a great way to waste time. You can also get double work. If you have a quick and easy task, the person responsible could also be responsible.
- Do not have too many consultations: it could slow down the completion of the task. If you need to consult several people before running your task, you have a different time waster. Or contradictory input to perform the task.
- Keep people informed. Maybe you do not have to consult with people, you just have to update them. Make sure you have people in this role, otherwise you might have problems with a lack of communication.
- How do you get the right balance with RACI?
Make it a collaborative effort. Everyone should feel comfortable with every role he and his colleagues have. In short, improve communication and efficiency with the RACI matrix. Everyone gets used to their potential. You no longer receive unnecessary information, such as a plethora of emails that you may not need to read. They also increase job satisfaction with clearly defined roles.
All in all, it is obvious that a well organized team is crucial to successfully complete a project. A responsibility allocation matrix is beneficial, if not primary, to achieve this. RACI has proven advantageous, but has its disadvantages. Keep in mind, however, that every PM tool has the key that works best for you. I hope this article was an advantage. And now it's your turn, I'd like to hear from you. Did you use RACI? What was your experience?