A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), also known as RACI matrix or linear responsibility chart (LRC), describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process. It is especially useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional/departmental projects and processes.
RACI is an acronym derived from the four key responsibilities most typically used: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.
Key responsibility roles (RACI model )
R=Responsible, A=Accountable, C=Consulted, I=Informed
- Responsible (also Recommender)
- Those who do the work to achieve the task. There is at least one role with a participation type of responsible, although others can be delegated to assist in the work required (see also RASCI below for separately identifying those who participate in a supporting role).
- Accountable (also Approver or final approving authority)
- The one ultimately answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task, and the one who delegates the work to those responsible. In other words, an accountable must sign off (approve) work that responsible provides. There must be only one accountable specified for each task or deliverable.
- Consulted (sometimes Consultant or counsel)
- Those whose opinions are sought, typically subject matter experts; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Informed (also Informee)
- Those who are kept up-to-date on progress, often only on completion of the task or deliverable; and with whom there is just one-way communication.
Very often the role that is accountable for a task or deliverable may also be responsible for completing it (indicated on the matrix by the task or deliverable having a role accountable for it, but no role responsible for its completion, i.e. it is implied). Outside of this exception, it is generally recommended that each role in the project or process for each task receive, at most, just one of the participation types. Where more than one participation type is shown, this generally implies that participation has not yet been fully resolved, which can impede the value of this technique in clarifying the participation of each role on each task.
There is a distinction between a role and individually identified people: a role is a descriptor of an associated set of tasks; may be performed by many people; and one person can perform many roles. For example, an organization may have ten people who can perform the role of project manager, although traditionally each project only has one project manager at any one time; and a person who is able to perform the role of project manager may also be able to perform the role of business analyst and tester.
Assigning people to facilities
The matrix is typically created with a vertical axis (left-hand column) of tasks (from a work breakdown structure) or deliverables (from a product breakdown structure), and a horizontal axis (top row) of roles (from an organizational chart).
|Code||Name||Project sponsor||Business analyst||Project manager||Technical architect||Applications development|
|Stage A||Manage sales|
|Stage B||Assess job|
|Stage C||Initiate project|
|- C04||Security governance (draft)||C||C||A||I||I|
|- C10||Functional requirements||A||R||I||C||I|
|- C11||Business acceptance criteria||A||R||I||C||I|
|Stage D||Design solution|
Another example from the maintenance and reliability community
There are a number of alternatives to the RACI participation types:
- This is an early version of a Responsibility Assignment Matrix, with the roles defined as:
- Review Required
- Input Required
- Sign-off Required
- This is a version very useful to organizations where the output of activities under the accountability of a single person/function can be reviewed and vetoed by multiple stakeholders, due to the collaborative nature of the culture.
- The person/function carrying out the activity.
- The person/function ultimately answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task, and often the one who delegates the work to the performer.
- The person/function reviewing the result of the activity (other than the accountable). He or she has a right of veto; his or her advice is binding.
- The person/function consulted to give advice based upon recognized expertise. The advice is non-binding.
- The person/function who must be informed of the result of the activity.
- This is an expanded version of the standard RACI, less frequently known as RASCI, breaking the responsible participation into:
- Those responsible for the task, who ensure that it is done as per the approver
- Resources allocated to responsible. Unlike consulted, who may provide input to the task, support helps complete the task.
- This is an alternative version of the standard RACI, foregoing the consulted participation and replacing it with:
- Resources which play a supporting role in implementation.
- This is an expanded version of the standard RACI, with an additional participation type:
- Quality Review
- Those who check whether the product meets the quality requirements.
- This is an expanded version of the standard RACI, with two additional participation types:
- Those who check whether the product meets the acceptance criteria set forth in the product description.
- Those who approve the verify decision and authorize the product hand-off. It seems to make sense that the signatory should be the party being accountable for its success.
- This is an expanded version, of the standard RACI, also known as RACIO with one additional participation type.
- Out of the loop (or omitted)
- Designating individuals or groups who are specifically not part of the task. Specifying that a resource does not participate can be as beneficial to a task's completion as specifying those who do participate.
- Another version that has been used to centralize decision making, and clarify who can re-open discussions.
- A single driver of overall project like the person steering a car.
- One or more approvers who make most project decisions, and are responsible if it fails.
- Are the worker-bees who are responsible for deliverables; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Those who are impacted by the project and are provided status and informed of decisions; and with whom there is one-way communication.
- Another tool used to clarify decision roles and thereby improve decision making overall is RAPID®, which was created by and is a registered trademark of Bain & Company.
- The Recommend role typically involves 80 percent of the work in a decision. The recommender gathers relevant input and proposes a course of action—sometimes alternative courses, complete with pros and cons so that the decision maker's choices are as clear, simple and timely as possible.
- The Agree role represents a formal approval of a recommendation. The 'A' and the 'R' should work together to come to a mutually satisfactory proposal to bring forward to the Decider. But not all decisions will need an Agree role, as this is typically reserved for those situations where some form of regulatory or compliance sign-off is required.
- The Perform role defines who is accountable for executing or implementing the decision once it is made. Best-practice companies typically define P's and gather input from them early in the process
- The Input role provides relevant information and facts so that the Recommender and Decider can assess all the relevant facts to make the right decision. However, the 'I' role is strictly advisory. Recommenders should consider all input, but they don't have to reflect every point of view in the final recommendation.
- The Decide role is for the single person who ultimately is accountable for making the final decision, committing the group to action and ensuring the decision gets implemented.
- Another tool used in organisation design or roles analysis.
- Identify who is in charge of making sure the work is done.
- Identify who has final decision power on the work.
- Identify who actually does the work.
- Identify who is involved to provide support to the work.
- Identify who is informed that the work has been done (or will be started)
- A variant of RASCI developed by three Whitehall theorists (Kane, Jackson, Gilbert). This scheme is adapted for use in matrix management environments, and differs only from RASCI in having an additional role of Driver and a narrower definition of Support:
- An individual or party that assists those who are Responsible for delivering a task by both producing supporting collateral and setting timescales for delivery in line with the overarching aim of the individual or party who is Accountable for the overall accomplishment of the objective. The distinction between Driver and Support lies in that the former reinforces and clarifies the parameters of the task on behalf of those who are Accountable, while the latter refers to those who help those who are Responsible in reaching a given goal.
There are also a number of variations to the meaning of RACI participation types:
RACI (alternative scheme)
- There is an alternative coding, less widely published but used by some practitioners and process mapping software, which modifies the application of the R and A codes of the original scheme. The overall methodology remains the same but this alternative avoids potential confusion of the terms accountable and responsible, which may be understood by management professionals but not always so clearly differentiated by others:
- Those responsible for the performance of the task. There should be exactly one person with this assignment for each task.
- Those who assist completion of the task
- Those whose opinions are sought; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Those who are kept up-to-date on progress; and with whom there is one-way communication.
- This alternative is focused only on documenting who has the authority to make which decisions. This can work across all sized work groups.
- Authorized to approve an answer to the decision.
- Responsible to recommend an answer to the decision.
- Those whose opinions are sought; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Those who are informed after the decision is made; and with whom there is one-way communication.
- ^"184.108.40.206 Organization Charts and Position Descriptions". A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) (5th ed.). Project Management Institute. 2013. p. 262. ISBN 978-1-935589-67-9.
- ^Jacka, Mike; Keller, Paulette (2009). Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction. John Wiley and Sons. p. 257. ISBN 0-470-44458-4.
- ^Cleland, David; Ireland, Lewis (2006). Project management: strategic design and implementation. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 234. ISBN 0-07-147160-X.
- ^ abMargaria, Tiziana (2010). Leveraging Applications of Formal Methods, Verification, and Validation: 4th International Symposium on Leveraging Applications, Isola 2010, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 18–21, 2010, Proceedings, Part 1. Springer. p. 492. ISBN 3-642-16557-5.
- ^Brennan, Kevin (2009). A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide). International Institute of Business Analysis. p. 29. ISBN 0-9811292-1-8.
- ^ abBlokdijk, Gerard (2008). The Service Level Agreement SLA Guide - SLA Book, Templates for Service Level Management and Service Level Agreement Forms. Fast and Easy Way to Write Your SLA. Lulu. p. 81. ISBN 1-921523-62-X.
- ^ abcdSmith, Michael (2005). Role & Responsibility Charting (RACI)(PDF). Project Management Forum. p. 5.
- ^A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Project Management Institute. 2000. p. 111. ISBN 1-880410-22-2.
- ^Hightower, Rose (2008). Internal controls policies and procedures. John Wiley & Sons. p. 83. ISBN 0-470-28717-9.
- ^Baker, Dean (2009). Multi-Company Project Management: Maximizing Business Results Through Strategic Collaboration. J Ross. p. 58. ISBN 1-60427-035-7.
- ^Mikes, Joe; Denton, Tara (2011). Training Speeds Continuous Improvement. Life Cycle Engineering.
- ^Glossary. MG Rush. 2014. Archived from the original on 2004-10-31.
- ^Bolman, Lee (2008). Reframing organizations: artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons. p. 112. ISBN 0-7879-8799-9.
- ^Dickstein, Dennis (2008). No Excuses: A Business Process Approach to Managing Operational Risk. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-470-48110-2.
- ^Kendrick, Tom (2006). Results without authority: controlling a project when the team doesn't report to you. AMACOM Books, division of the American Management Association. p. 106. ISBN 0-8144-7343-1.
Instead, this plan puts the onus on states and local governments to contribute about 80 percent of revenues for major projects, and do it by coming up with new revenue sources.
—tony bizjak, sacbee, "Trump road plan may help Democrats defend controversial California gas tax hike,"19 Feb. 2018
Also, the onus is on the sport team to earn a fan’s devotion, much as any other business is tasked with winning over and retaining customers.
—tom krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Super Bowl winner wants fan support, title for Padres like he got with Pats,"14 Feb. 2018
The resolution placed the onus on the House Ethics Committee instead of the Office of Congressional Ethics, which tends to be more transparent about its findings, to look into allegations of workplace misconduct.
—chicagotribune.com, "House prohibits sexual relationships between lawmakers and their staffers,"6 Feb. 2018
Some economists say the onus is on businesses themselves — not the city — to adapt to market conditions.
—rachel swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Cow Hollow shops struggle to survive,"5 Feb. 2018
Their efforts stem from a feeling that, with partisan bickering and constant campaigning consuming Washington, the onus is on businesses to fill the void left by an ineffective government.
—david gelles, New York Times, "Businesses Look at Washington and Say, ‘Never Mind, We’ll Do It’,"1 Feb. 2018
Falling in an early hole may end up putting too much of the scoring onus on Davis and eliminate the ball movement that's been a staple of the offense all year.
—william guillory, NOLA.com, "Pelicans play first game without DeMarcus Cousins Sunday vs. Clippers,"28 Jan. 2018
The onus is therefore on Liverpool to match the demands of the Ligue 1 outfit as Castles claims the player has already agreed to make the move to Merseyside.
—SI.com, "Journalist Claims Monaco Star Has Agreed Terms for Liverpool Move After Months of Speculation,"27 Jan. 2018
Putting the onus on the operator, not the patient, to pay would seem reasonable at first blush, but could very well be subject to legal challenge and might not stand up.
—The Aegis, "Necessary protections for Havre de Grace, Harford County [Editorial],"12 Jan. 2018