Let’s begin by explaining what the RACI Model is. Then an overview of how to apply the model in two cases:
RACI is an acronym that means Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Effective management is always tied to knowing who has which responsibility to not only get the job done, but also who do we communicate and collaborate with. The RACI Model uses a matrix to align the level of responsibility (RACI) with the activities to be accomplished and the roles participants play on either a project or process team. Take note of the word Team because RACI is a cornerstone of exceptional team work and collaboration. It sets the stage.
The RACI Model is a matrix. First, let’s look at its use for the management of a Lean Six Sigma operations improvement project as an example.
The left column of the matrix lists the project deliverables that must be completed for the project to be successful. The top row lists the functional roles that the team members have on the Lean Six Sigma operations improvement project. In this example the deliverables are kept at the overall phase level of the DMAIC improvement process. If this was the real RACI Matrix for Project Management the multiple deliverables for each phase of DMAIC would be listed. For each deliverable only one of the roles, or team members, can be held Accountable (A) for completing the deliverable and the particular decision being made on the project. Multiple team members can be Responsible (R) to perform the work and make decisions necessary to complete a deliverable, be Consulted (C) for inputs while the work is being done and decisions are being contemplated, or be Informed (I) when a deliverable is completed and a decision is made.
To build the RACI Matrix requires the team to collaborate on the overall deliverables based project management plan (PMP) and timeline. The PMP is then used by the team to assign the levels of responsibility for the deliverables within each phase of DMAIC to the appropriate functional role(s), or team member(s). The completed RACI Matrix provides the team with a roadmap on how they will work and collaborate to complete their Lean Six Sigma project.
Second, let’s look at the RACI model for its use as a Process Management tool. The matrix is team focused with the goal of outlining the roles, responsibilities, and collaboration points for a business process to execute effectively on a day to day basis.
The RACI Matrix layout is similar to the project management matrix with the only change in the left hand column. In this column Process Activities are listed in as much detail as the team feels necessary for the process to perform and meet the requirements of both internal and external customers. Once again, only one functional role, or person, is held Accountable (A) for the process activity to be completed and the decision being made. The above matrix lists only some typical high level process activities and functional roles where the actual matrix would have more details that are specific to the process being managed. The key takeaway is a roadmap on how the team will work and collaborate to effectively run their process while the leadership team of the business gains an understanding of the interdependencies of the functions that support process performance.