RACI Definition & Meaning

RACI (pronounced “RAY-SEE”) is a project management matrix used to assign roles and responsibilities for each task, milestone, or decision on a project. By using this type of chart, confusion about who is doing what task is eliminated. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Each letter represents a level of responsibility:

  • Responsible: These people are the doers of the work. They must complete the task or objective or make the decision. Several people can be jointly responsible.
  • Accountable: This person is the owner of the work. He or she must sign off or approve when the task, objective, or decision is complete. This person must make sure that responsibilities are assigned in the matrix for all related activities. There is only one person accountable.
  • Consulted: These are the people who need to give input before the work can be done and signed off. These people are in the loop and active participants.
  • Informed: These people need to be kept in the picture. They need updates on progress or decision, but they do not need to be formally consulted, nor do they contribute directly to the task or decision.

The RACI chart is not meant to replace the project plan. A project plan details every task to be completed, the timeline, and how the project will be managed. An RACI chart is only a visual that serves to show the different roles and responsibilities across project tasks.

Why use a RACI chart

A RACI chart informs an organization about its employees’ workload, as it shows the role(s) assigned to each person. Using this chart gives an organization insight into information such as the amount of times a certain employee has been placed in the responsible role. In this way, an organization knows whether someone has too many, or not enough, responsibilities.

RACI is also used for the successful completion of a project, as everyone impacted is in the loop. This reduces miscommunication and increases productivity. So, if a task was incorrectly completed, RACI tells you who was involved and ultimately accountable. In short, RACI makes it easier to have the right conversation with the right people.

How to create a RACI chart

There are six steps in creating a RACI chart. But to get started, here’s a template.

  • Step one: Identify the team members, such as project manager, product manager, software developer, and business analyst.
  • Step two: Identify major milestones in the project, such as web designing, testing, and approval for the overall project of building a website.
  • Step three: Draw a matrix with a row for each team member, and a column for each task or milestone. This can be done using Microsoft Excel or the template provided.
  • Step four: Fill in each box with the corresponding R, A, C, and I to designate the role of each team member for each task.
  • Step five: Share the chart with your team members. Discuss, analyze, and get approval from the team.
  • Step six: Provide a copy of the chart to every team member, and get started on the project.

Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes is a newly-graduated writer and editor for websites such as TechnologyAdvice.com, Webopedia.com, and Project-Management.com. When she’s not writing about technology, she enjoys giving too many treats to her dog and coaching part-time at her local gym.

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