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A Valuable Tool For Your Next Project: The RACI Matrix That Experts Use

When Project Managers at Penn State University, in Pennsylvania, US, needed to ensure that all University departments were involved in changing over admin software, they relied on the RACI Matrix Model to organize their efforts.

Other Project Managers have also been taking advantage of this model for years. Just google “RACI Matrix”, and you will find templates from many different organizations. What is this model all about, and what makes successful Project Managers choose it? Let’s go over the details of the RACI Matrix Model so that you can perhaps use it for yourself.

What Is The Concept Behind the RACI Matrix?

“RACI” is an acronym which stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. Each letter identifies one of the categories of people involved in the project. This is useful for assigning roles so that all aspects of a project are addressed.

At least one person within the scope of the project needs to be “responsible” for doing the work of implementing the project. Others are “accountable” for specific tasks. There should only be one “accountable” person per task. Others will serve the project by consulting on various decisions. Other members of the project group will be kept “informed” of the proceedings.

You can see that by assigning roles in this way, each person involved in the project knows what is expected of them. The RACI Matrix evolved so that a group of people, who come together to implement change or complete a group of tasks, could work in an organized manner. The model operates on the belief that when roles are defined, the project is successful.

How Is The RACI Matrix Model Used?

To use a RACI Matrix Model, the project manager must first create (or download and fill in) a chart. On the far left of the chart, in a vertical column, the manager would fill in all of the tasks, or products that make up the product. An example of a task might be to “analyze the existing software in the admin office”. A product, or deliverable, might be “20-page report on the existing software”.

On the top of the chart, the manager will fill in a row with all of the people or positions involved in the project. This might include posts such as “project manager” or “hired consultant”. Once the left column and top row of your matrix are filled in, you are ready to assign roles. Mark an R, A, C, or I on your chart accordingly.

What Kind Of Projects Is It Best For?

The RACI Matrix Model is perfect for projects that involve many different departments of an organization. It also works well for a diverse group of individuals who are not very used to work together. Discussing clear guidelines at the beginning of the project can help a manager establish defined expectations for people who may not already be fit into established working relationships.

Many experts utilize the RACI Matrix Model, and now you can, too! The model is based on the idea that everyone involved in a project needs to know what is expected of them for the project as a whole to be successful. When you establish one person who is held accountable, for instance, the task is less likely to fall through the cracks.