RACI Chart: Definition, guide and examples

What is a team’s worst enemy? Confusion and uncertainty. As a manager, there is nothing more worrying than hearing the question: “who was supposed to be doing this, again?”. If this is a reality for you or your team, you might be in serious need of implementing a RACI Matrix.

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Raci Matrix Using Gantt Charts

What is a RACI chart?

Project management require the involvement of multiple individuals; this is a fact. But how do you make sure each of them is taking ownership of their tasks and actions? How do you, as a manager, make sure your team is fully aware of their own level of responsibility towards a specific task? This is where a RACI chart may come in handy.

RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed, and it is a highly recommended model for identifying roles and responsibilities and assigning tasks and milestones to the right people in your team. That way, you can make sure that everyone on your team knows what to do and when to do it. Not only that but they know who they can turn to if they need help or if the previous assignment hasn’t been completed.

By implementing this type of system you’re going to have a better understanding of the key aspects of a project, namely the who, what, when, where and how. And all you have to do is look at one central location in order to get the information because it’s all stored in the RACI chart.

Define roles

  • Responsible: This individual performs the task to completion. Thus, there needs to be at least one Responsible attached to each task, activity or decision, but you may want/need to have a handful of these individuals in your team.
  • Accountable: This team member delegates the work, and it is the ultimate accountable party to review the tasks and make sure they were performed to completion. Equally important, you do not want to assign more than one Accountable for each task, or confusion might arise.
  • Consulted: These individuals have the answers. They are typically experts and provide useful information that will help to carry the tasks to the finish line.  Consequently, they will usually be in direct communication with Responsible parties.
  • Informed: These team members need to know and become aware of the progress of a project. The result of each task and/or the project itself affects them.

Evaluate tasks and milestones

Finally, it’s important to take a look at the actual tasks that need to be performed and the milestones that you want to set along the way. Each task is going to be a sub-set of the overarching goal that needs to be achieved. Within those tasks, there will be milestones that need to be completed in order to mark the passage toward that goal.

Milestones can be any size and generally, you will have some early on in the project when smaller steps have been achieved and some that occur later on in the process after larger steps have been achieved. Anything that gets you one step closer to completing your ultimate goal is going to be considered a milestone, though you may or may not celebrate milestones of this type.

Make sure that you are evaluating every aspect of the project that you have created and that you are setting realistic milestones with deadlines that you want to achieve. Also, make sure that you are creating as many tasks as is necessary to get to the ultimate goal quickly and efficiently. The team should be able to look at those tasks and see exactly how they’re going to get from where they are now to the completed project.

How can a RACI chart help me or my team?

A RACI chart is a great solution when trying to avoid any confusion during a project. With this type of system, you’re going to know exactly who is responsible for what within the project. That means you can quickly and easily see if Mark is responsible for getting the payroll aspect done or if Jon is. You can take one look at the chart and see that Rebecca has been assigned creating a blueprint and not Jessica.

Moreover, it makes communication a lot easier. When you know who is responsible for each task you’ll have a better ability to reach out to the right person. This is going to cut down on unnecessary communication or someone trying to track down just the right people in order to get something done or answer a question. Communicating is even possible directly through the system that you use to track your assignments. That means you don’t even need to leave your office.

When working with multiple team members, it makes it possible to involve the right people at the right time, and to speed up approvals and decision making within your team. You can reach out to people directly through the system or you can easily send an invite to a group chat or meeting directly through the system. After all, you’re going to have the ability to see exactly who is involved in each step of the process and who needs to know information that’s being discussed.

Even more, a RACI model will be especially useful when looking to evenly assign workload, as it becomes visual. The project or program manager will be able to look at each of the tasks and assign them to someone within the team. From there, they will be able to see if someone is doing more than their fair share and can reassign and reallocate different tasks to make sure that everyone is getting the right amount of work done within the team.

Ownership confusion will become a thing of the past, as everyone will know exactly who’s doing what. There’s no one to wonder who is responsible for a specific task because if you don’t know you can simply log into the system and immediately see who the owner of the task is. There’s no need to ask around or try to work it out for yourself because the information is right there, waiting for you.
With this type of system, you’re going to save money overall for your team and your company. Because everyone is assigned a task, everyone can see who is responsible, communication is improved and everyone knows when and how to get their tasks done there’s no downtime. There’s also no overlap between people doing the same task at the same time. The job gets done more quickly and more efficiently, decreasing the amount of money spent.

Take your RACI chart to the next level

Now, once you’ve laid down your project's concrete actions, tasks and roles, it’s time to make it happen. At this point, it’s important that you actually go through the process of using the right type of gantt chart software to help you. In fact, a tool like Instagantt can help your RACI chart become alive and to visualize your project, especially when it involves multiple parties. By working with this system you will have all of the benefits of a RACI chart and more.

The right project management software, like what you’ll find with Instagantt, will allow you to take care of everything you need quickly, easily and efficiently. After all, that’s how you’re going to get the most out of the process, right? With gantt charts you’ll be able to create and monitor your projects quickly and, from there, you can assign the tasks to anyone that you’ve added to your system.

This gantt chart maker allows you to monitor how everyone is doing with the tasks that you’ve assigned them as well. That’s because you’ll be able to fill in how far you’re getting on an assignment and what still needs to be done within each task. This makes it easier for everyone to keep track of how the project is going and what it will require in order to get further along or to finish it.

You will even have the opportunity to view your charts by a number of different methods. From there, all you need to do is start the process. You can do that by starting with the overarching project or goal you want to create. Name your project and start working on the dates and the specific tasks that need to be performed. You can do this easily, without having to assign them at the start. That’s going to give you a whole lot more freedom as you work.

Creating the tasks before you start assigning them allows you to work out what needs to be done without getting distracted. Then you can focus on assigning tasks to different people once you’ve decided just what task there actually are in the project.

RACI Chart by Roles

RACI Chart by Roles

Assign a role to each different team member.

Assign a role to each different team member.

Assign a role to each different team member 2
Gantt Chart by Assignments

Gantt Chart by Assignments

Assign different tasks  to different team members. Make sure that you have the right people built into your team and then start assigning them. As we mentioned, you’ll be able to make sure that each individual within your team is given the right balance of assignments. You will also be able to fairly allocate each task and make sure each assignment is passed on to someone within the team.
Also, draw dependencies to prioritize certain actions and maintain a clear line of communication thanks to Instagantt’s “mention” options, too. When you set your dependencies it means that you’re creating a task and then a secondary task that can be completed when the first one is done. This helps your team to know who is responsible for what and when they will be able to complete an assignment.

Communicate with your teammates by mentioning them

Communicate with your teammates by mentioning them.

All you have to do is mention someone on the tasks that you’ve assigned and they will be able to see what you’ve said. They will be able to see what you’ve commented on and will be able to comment back on any of the information that you’ve provided as well. That’s going to help you communicate back and forth without having to arrange meetings or send messages through other platforms.

You’ll be able to immediately share information from one task to other members of your team. This makes sure that each person within your team will be able to see what’s happening in other tasks and will be able to comment on anything else that needs to be done as well. This will make it easier to accomplish some of the larger tasks that are needed for the project.

As a result, you will be able to build a project, to have your team members collaborate in real-time, and to help keep a clear sense of ownership of everyone’s tasks. Would you like to see more of what Instagantt can help you achieve?

Who needs to use a RACI chart?

When it comes to using a RACI chart you should keep an eye on a number of different situations. Sure, you can use a RACI chart with any and all projects that you are creating, but there are some situations where it’s going to be even more important for you to know what’s going on and who’s responsible in different parts of the project. So, where should you absolutely be using this type of chart?

First, if there is a specific process that needs to be followed in order to get the right approval and make decisions then having a RACI chart will make a huge difference for you. You’ll be able to quickly get the approval and tag or mention those who need to issue the approval.

If you need to make sure that everyone knows who’s responsible for different tasks then you’ll also want to make sure you use this type of chart. It allows you to see who is responsible for every piece of the puzzle and to make assignments as needed. On top of that, it will allow everyone to get their own tasks accomplished.

When it seems that someone is doing more than their fair share of the tasks for a project is another good time to use this type of chart. You’ll be able to make sure that everyone is assigned a task and that no one is working on more tasks than anyone else. After all, that’s what you’re trying to avoid in the interest of fairness, right?

Getting started with your RACI chart

When you’re ready to get started make sure that you talk with everyone that is part of your team. You want to be sure that your team knows who all they are working with and just what they need to do. Explain to them how the process is going to work and what tasks need to be accomplished. Show them the chart also, to make sure that they can each perform their tasks.

You’re going to want to assign the tasks properly and make sure that everyone is aware of any changes that occur throughout the time of the project as well. If you have to meet with anyone as part of the team you want to be sure they know what’s happening and when. All of these things can be done through the RACI chart and your Instagantt chart.

Be sure that you assign tasks following the RACI method. You’re going to need to know who is your Responsible party as well as who is your Informed individual. All of these things are going to help you stay in control of the project and keep an eye on everything that needs to be done.

If you’re ready to really get down to business when it comes to your projects then a RACI chart is definitely the way to go. Make sure that you know how to assign the different aspects of the chart. Also, make sure that you assign each task within the chart and within the project to the right people. You’re going to find that your project goes a great deal better when you know how to assign tasks in the right way. Make sure you’re utilizing all of the features of Instagantt and the RACI chart that you’re working with and you could see a big difference in your business.

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