RACI – Creating a Responsibility Chart

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What is a RACI Responsibility Chart?

RACI is an acronym for the four major headings in a responsibility chart:

  • Responsible – this position does the work to ensure that the action is completed
  • Accountable – this position is ultimately responsible for ensuring completion of a function, activity or decision, but may delegate responsibility to another. Only one position should be accountable for every action or decision
  • Consulted – This position is involved prior to a decision or action taking place
  • Informed – This position is told of an outcome of an activity or decision afterwards

RACI Responsibility Charting Guidelines

  • Focus on the position, not on the individual currently occupying the position
  • Ensure the level of detail is appropriate to the positions on the RACI Responsibility Chart. Organizations should have cascading RACIs from the senior team down to the individual contributor level
  • The RACI Responsibility Chart should be revisited and tested regularly as business conditions change
  • The first RACI Responsibility Chart will be an iterative process, and may not 100% accurate at first. Further refinement is encouraged
  • Place accountability (A) and responsibility (R) at the lowest feasible level
  • There can be only one accountability (A) per activity
  • Minimize the number of Consults (C) and Informs (I)
  • Avoid listing mundane activities like ‘attend meetings’

Horizontal & Vertical Analysis of a RACI Responsibility Chart

Once the RACI responsibility chart has been populated, it is important to review and analyze the work to ensure that the tasks, decisions and functions will be properly executed. View the chart horizontally to ensure that each action or decision is properly supported. View the chart vertically to ensure that workload is properly distributed amongst a team or work group.

Using a RACI Responsibility Chart to enhance or validate job descriptions

After a RACI has been conducted with a group, it is wise to cross-check the data on the RACI responsibility chart with what is written in the job description. In some cases, items from the job description should be noted on the RACI. responsibility chart. Most often Accountabilities and Responsibilities from the RACI responsibility chart are used to update job descriptions.

Using a RACI Responsibility Chart to enhance KPIs or Scorecards

A good use of the output of a RACI responsibility chart is to note what KPIs, data and other management information is required for an incumbent to successfully execute his or her accountabilities and responsibilities. In many cases the RACI responsibility chart can provide a solid guide as to what should be on a scorecard for the positions featured in the RACI chart.

Get the Complete ‘RACI Responsibility Charting’ Topic Bundle

The RACI Responsibility Charting topic bundle includes:

  • RACI Responsibility Charting Cheat Sheet (pdf)
  • RACI Responsibility Charting Booklet (pdf) containing:
    • In-Depth Topic Overview
    • RACI Horizontal and Vertical Analysis Check-Sheet
    • RACI Job Description Template
    • Recommended Resources – where to find out even more about RACI Responsibility Charting
  • RACI Responsibility Charting Example from the Oil and Gas Industry (Excel)
  • RACI Responsibility Charting Presentation – use this if you want to roll it out in your organization (Powerpoint)
  • Easy-print versions of the Wily Manager Tools contained in the RACI Responsibility Charting Booklet (pdf)
  • RACI Responsibility Charting Podcast (mp3)
  • RACI Responsibility Charting Podcast slides (Powerpoint)

The RACI [topic bundle] is excellent!  I recently took on a new position and found that a key issue plaguing my boss was in working with one of our business units. In listening to the issue I pointed out that roles and responsibilities seemed to be the underlying issue. I had just read your RACI [material] and was able to lay out how we can work with them in a more effective way by taking the lead and following the RACI model.  He agreed and liked the idea of using the model to address the issues and establish a new process flow with the unit. – Vivian Myers, NY

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