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RACI: the roles and responsibilities matrix to manage a project effectively

Published on
2020-09-30
Was live
2020-09-30
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Klaxoon
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With the RACI Template, define as a team who is responsible for what and what are the roles of each person on a project or within a process.

As a team, define roles and everyone’s responsibilities within each project.

The RACI method helps define the overarching needs of a project by dividing team members into 4 roles: R - Responsible , A- Accountable, C - Consulted and I - Informed. Every team member is able to express ideas or concerns, and the roles and responsibilities of everyone are clearly defined.

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So you have a team project you wish to kick off? And you want to avoid the very common problems of missing deadlines, unclear or non-existing role-player responsibilities, double allocating of tasks, waste of time, team members overlooked during messaging operations, and so forth? Of all the tools offered to you by Klaxoon  to improve online project management and task scheduling, RACI matrix is simply the best of the best, especially when it comes to big and complicated projects! It’s a very user-friendly, visual project management method produced on home soil, right here in the US, that defines in clear, concise terms the responsibilities of each project team member. Just follow the guide!

The project management advantages offered by RACI matrix

RACI matrix is a communications tool that offers clear answers to the crucial question: “Who does what?” It can be used in simple or complex projects, and both for inhouse or remote meetings. Its main aim is to help you define the roles and responsibilities of each team member from the word go, and thereafter help you visually keep track and manage for the entire project duration the actions of members, follow project progress, the output of each unit and each team member at all times.

When teams work on a project – especially if much of the work is done remotely – it’s very easy to get lost in the detail, or the lack thereof!, and no longer know who to contact when problems arise or when specific action is required. Which is exactly what RACI matrix sets out to solve!

Especially with complex projects, it can sometimes be hard to know who is responsible for what stage, what step, what task, or who should launch it. With complex projects, often there are overlaps or lots of other issues that cause teams to lose time and simply the pleasure of working together on something very worthwhile!

But when you clearly define every participant’s role at the outset, it means you have identified a name and face for each task. Responsibility favors clarity (like fortune the bold)!

What sets RACI matrix apart is that it helps you delegate tasks by offering you a clear view of both the project’s big picture and the detailed responsibilities of participants.

With RACI matrix, each team members roles and responsibilities are spelled out in a letter featuring an intuitive, user-friendly table that can be updated or changed in the course of the project. This allows you to avoid responsibility vacuums, overlooked tasks, missed communiqués or simply situations where members typically claim others should have done this or that, not them! Task scheduling and communication are also strengthened. As a result, your project’s chances of succeeding on time and in-budget grow by leaps and bounds.

RACI matrix, a user-friendly visual project management tool

RACI matrix lists the roles and responsibilities of team members in a double-entry table with four columns marked by the letters R, A, C and I.  

R stands for Responsible. All team members or units responsible for each task are indicated by this letter. Normally they will report to an A.

A stands for Accountable. It denotes the individuals or units that okay actions and report back to management for the actions carried out under their orders. Team members denoted by A are responsible for the R’s. So the A’s are those with the highest level of responsibility.

C stands for Consulted. Often these are specialists who’d be consulted only in the areas of their expertise for their opinion or advice. So, in some projects there might be no C’s at all, and in others several.

The I stands for Informed. It involves team members who don’t participate directly in projects, but who should be kept in the know anyway as they might be affected by the projects’ progress and implementation.

Tips on taking full advantage of RACI matrix

All of the project members need not be private individuals. You may indeed also include the names of departments, functions or specific professions.

In some cases, a team member may be allocated several roles in a single task. Feel free to allocate more than one letter to such members. For example, one person might be denoted by both an A or an R for the same task, meaning in this particular instance, the person is both the one responsible for the task, but that he/she reports to him/herself.

Customizing and using RACI matrix to plan and manage your project

Thanks to BoardKlaxoon’s flagship all-in-one project management tool – all the important phases of your project can be planned and organized on the RACI template. Extremely user-friendly, it allows you to:

- Work as a team in a visual manner thanks to the online whiteboard,

- See colleagues in real time on Live, the integrated videoconferencing tool,

- Exchange verbally and together take decisions through the Question tool

Setting up your RACI matrix for visual management

It involves a double-entry table with lines for the activities, tasks, actions, stages, deliverables, and columns for the team members to be identified under R, A, C and I, along with the different filing codes.

Klaxoon’s RACI template makes life real easy for you. When you launch it, you find a table included already. Simply write in the lines the stages and tasks of the project you and your team mates are working on. Naturally, you can add more lines and columns. To do that, click the “+” symbol on the toolbar, or simply duplicate the columns or lines you want. Last, you create a category per person, and ‘voilà’, you’re ready to invite your team members over for a meeting.

Tip: once you’ve completed your table and defined all of the project tasks, click Options and deactivate the feature allowing team members to drag and drop lines, ensuring no one accidentally change your project management matrix. Naturally, all participants will still remain able to volunteer his/her ideas on the online whiteboard.

Launching a productive and collaborative brainstorming session

Whether you’re organizing a remote or inhouse meeting, the moment has now come for you to invite all of your team members and get your project under way. If some or all participants work from outside, launch Live, the videoconferencing tool integrated in Klaxoon’s online whiteboard.

Once everybody is connected to RACI matrix, your brainstorming session can begin. To ensure dynamic online meetings and free-flowing teamwork, we advise you invite your colleagues to submit their ideas not only in words but also drawings, online multimedia documents or through multimedia links. Everyone can post his/her ideas in the table without moving the elements placed there already (words, drawings, pictures, shapes, etc.). To do so, just click Move and the relevant option.

Project management workshops are the heart of RACI matrix

OK, you’ve launched the meeting and are now leading the project management workshop. For your comfort, if you’re used to timing your meetings, we’ve included a chronometer to make time management easier still for you.

Next, all of the meeting participants start by reviewing the project’s different stages, tasks, roles and responsibilities. Each then submits his/her name and picture in the categories of their choice, those he/she deems best suited to him/her. To ensure that the visual dashboard remain clear for all, participants must copy the task name under the picture and add the letter R, A, C or I, or simply the color code associated with those four letters.

Is there any particular idea you really like? Well, then duplicate it so you can use it for the other tasks too you’d like to participate in, updating it at each new role or responsibility you allocate.

The following questions will help you define the roles and responsibilities of each project participant: 

         R: Who is responsible for this task?

         A: Who is the decision-maker? Who decides in cases of disagreements? Who greenlights things?

         C: Who can help, offer expert advice, or an opinion? Whose counsel would be capable of breaking deadlock?

         I: Who is affected by the activity? Who must be informed?

Good to know: RACI matrix has a variant called RASCI, where the S stands for Support, i.e. people capable of helping your team in one way or the other to bring tasks to completion.

It’s possible that several people’s names be put together on the same block (which shows the strength of the RACI collaborative method). Filling out the RACI matrix with your co-workers allows the team to identify the most suitable names for each role and task, while increasing the level of participation of all. Which makes for a good first teamwork experience. Agile management at work.

Be sure to allocate at least one R and one A to each objective and task. As stated above, you may have several Rs on the same action or, conversely, one person may be both an R and an A for the same task!

Once all of the participants have been positioned, clean up the matrix a little by deleting superfluous or repeat ideas, or by turning the online whiteboard into column mode.

Would you like to see at a glance (whether inhouse or remotely) what roles and tasks have been allocated to each participant? Just click ‘Sort by category’, which will display members names and all of their tasks. This function makes it really easy to identify the right person responsible for any given task!

Using the RACI template daily to manage your project

Thanks to the big-picture yet detailed overview offered by the RACI table, you instantly know who to speak to when you have a query. Also, it encourages everybody to participate. Result: everyone knows exactly what’s expected of him/her and buys into it.

If for some reason you’re unable to directly contact a team mate, or should you wish to address the entire group, do so with the Question tool. It even allows you to organize a vote on a question or an idea by all members having access to the Board. Another possibility it offers: you can address urgent or specific queries directly to any team member by email, in the text area located under the question.

RACI matrix simplifies and streamlines management of your projects

The RACI template by Klaxoon helps you avoid multiplying project follow-up meetings thanks to the ability it offers project members to communicate directly between themselves. And it enables teams to identify and define the roles and responsibilities of all participants, from the very first meeting.

Of all the modern agile project management methods that Klaxoon offers you, RACI matrix is the one best at allocating responsibilities at the outset, and thereafter at guaranteeing a high level of communication throughout the lifespan of projects, in particular highly complex project. Check it out, and don’t be surprised if it soon becomes an indispensable part of your more complex projects (and even the not-so-complex ones)!

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Klaxoon is a suite of collaborative tools designed to help you work more effectively as a team, whether you're in the office, working from home, on the road, or anywhere in the world. Klaxoon team shares hundreds templates, inspired by industry-standard agile methods, and the best ideas from the Klaxoon community.
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