Delays in projects or ongoing processes arise for a variety of reasons – starting with improper distribution of resources, communication difficulties, to insufficient knowledge and skills. One of the reasons for this situation can also be the lack of clearly assigned roles and tasks to be performed for each person.

At a time when projects are increasingly complex and multifaceted, and the teams involved include many people with different competencies, ensuring a clear division of responsibilities becomes crucial. A tool such as the RACI chart can be helpful in this area. Below, we discuss exactly what this solution is and how it can support your operations.

RACI chart – what is this tool?

A RACI chart is a project and organizational management tool designed to assign a specific person to specific tasks or activities within a project or process. Its use helps to effectively manage responsibilities – it provides clarity in the division, minimizes the risk of overlooking activities to be performed, and improves communication (when one person is dependent on another with his or her responsibilities).

Thus, the use of this tool facilitates planning and monitoring of progress, while enabling the achievement of set goals. The described solution is currently used by companies operating in various industries, as well as organizations of the so-called third sector.

What does the RACI chart look like?

What exactly the responsibility matrix will look like can be tailored to a particular team, project or organization. Most often, however, it is presented in the form of a chart, with tasks or project elements in one dimension (e.g., in columns) and the people or teams assigned to them in the other (e.g., in rows).

In larger projects or organizations, the table can be more elaborate (e.g., include decision-making levels as well). The designations indicated below (which explain another name for this tool – RACI) are used to indicate the roles assigned to each person:

  • R – Responsible – a person who is required to perform a task,
  • A – Accountable – a person who must accept the performance of a given task,
  • C – Consulted – a person who has specialized knowledge and can help perform a given task,
  • I – Informed – a person who needs to be informed about the progress of the task, but is not actively involved in its implementation.

Benefits of using the RACI chart

The main purpose of using the described tool is to define precisely who is responsible for performing a given task, which eliminates ambiguities and discrepancies in understanding responsibilities, reducing the risk of mistakes (especially duplication of tasks or their omission).

However, this is not the only benefit of this approach to ongoing projects and processes. The RACI chart also allows:

  • improve communication in the team – when everyone knows what roles and tasks are assigned to them and others, daily communication and cooperation become easier and smoother,
  • ensure effective management of resources – assigning individual tasks to people with the best competence to perform them allows for optimal use of resources (and at the same time ensures that tasks are divided equally, if possible). At the same time, it supports closing within the stipulated budget,
  • effectively manages risk – by assigning an approver role (Accountable) for each task, the person making the final decision can be accurately identified and thus prevent potential problems,
  • streamline business processes – the tool also enables you to identify key tasks, allowing you to rethink your business processes and avoid unnecessary delays or gaps in operations.
RACI chart

RACI chart – summary

The tool in question helps ensure transparency in the distribution of tasks so that delays can be minimized, discrepancies in the understanding of one’s role can be eliminated, and all project participants can work together harmoniously. When using the RACI chart, however, tasks must be assigned according to the actual skills and competencies of individuals, so that each team member has clearly defined roles and knows what is expected of them during the project.

You also need to make sure that the tool is regularly updated as the work progresses and changes are made to the project. This will ensure adaptation to the changing situation, prevent conflicts and maintain the smoothness of ongoing activities.

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Author: Klaudia Kowalczyk

A graphic & UX Designer which conveys into design what cannot be conveyed in words. For him, every used color, line or font has a meaning. Passionate in graphic and web design.