RACI-Matrix: More Transparency and better Communication
Common project plans list work packages to which "responsibles" are assigned. However, these employees are usually not the only ones involved in such a work package. For example, others might want to know when a task is finished, or information from other project participants is needed to complete a task.
In management, the RACI method defines four roles through which project stakeholders can relate to a task. The RACI matrix therefore does not replace other methods such as project structure plans, Gantt charts or networks, but supplements them. The RACI matrix is also called the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM).
With this method, the responsibilities and responsibilities in a project or company can be presented in a clear, differentiated and concrete way. This increases efficiency in project work and there are fewer unnecessary discussions and misunderstandings. Decisions are made faster and the workload is distributed more fairly.
Better management with RACI diagrams
The RACI table lists the tasks or tasks in rows and the project members in columns. In the intersection field of Task and Editor the respective role is entered, which connects the team member with this process. There are four types of relationships or roles in the RACI system:
- the Responsible- who does the task?
- the Accountable(Manager) - who makes decisions and takes action for the task (s).
- the consulted- who is involved and informed about decisions and tasks?
- Informed- Who will be informed about decisions and actions during the project?
In the Schnitttpunktfelder you enter so an R,A, C or I, or you leave it empty. There should only be one R for each task, ie there should not be more than one R per row in the matrix.
To explain the RACI principle, we will use the matrix above. Karl is the decision maker (Accountable) for questions about the process "Project plan". Madeleine is the responsible person responsible for the execution of the project planning. And Babette can be called in as consultant because she knows about the dependencies between this project and her own decision, and can alert Madeleine to potential conflicts.
Stephen basically gets copies of the meeting logs (Informed) because he needs this information to control his own work.
What is in for you with RACI?
Properly applied, the RACI method offers you a whole range of advantages:
- Transparency: The RACI matrix clearly shows who is responsible for what. This avoids unnecessary discussions and eliminates misunderstandings.
- Fair distribution of tasks: It becomes visible when individual employees have been assigned too many or too few tasks.
- No bottlenecks: It becomes clear when employees appear as advisers in too many places and thus possibly slow down project progress.
- Targeted communication: If an employee is registered as informant in almost every case, one must question whether this is really necessary. The RACI Matrix helps to build an efficient communication scheme in projects. Information thus systematically reaches where it is useful. Unnecessary communication according to the watering can principle is avoided.
Setting up the scheme
Here's how to set up a scheme for your project:
- Create a list of project tasks
- Identify the project participants
- For each task or task, name an editor and a manager
- Make sure that there is only one editor per task
- Talk to all editors and managers and make sure everyone understands their role and role
- Add advisory and informative if necessary
Tips for the RACI-Matrix
- The RACI matrix should not be misused as a control tool. With the help of the RACI Matrix no disfunctional team can be put in order. The team spirit has to be right and there has to be confidence.
- The tasks in the matrix must be clearly and comprehensibly formulated. The scope of a task must be clear.
- For example, specify in a project handbook who is responsible for creating and maintaining the RACI Matrix itself.
- Determine whether an adviser can and must become active on his own or only on request.
- Make it clear that it is not the manager who is responsible for a task, but the editor. Of course it is also possible that both roles are represented by the same person.
- Make sure that each line has exactly one Responsible (R). It is rarely good if several people are responsible. If in doubt, divide a task into two subtasks.
- Avoid bottlenecks with too many C's in a row.
- Make sure the RACI matrix is integrated with regular project planning. It does not matter if you run the RACI matrix in an Excel spreadsheet and do the project planning and tracking in another tool.
RACI and Agile
There are Scrum experts who think that RACI does not fit Scrum without any customization. Although there are many variations of RACI, some practitioners feel the urge to have new Scrum-specific roles (like "F = Facilitator / Coach"), new Scrum-specific activities, and responsibilities (such as "ensuring the consistency of Scrum practices across teams or elimination of obstacles "). or to include new positions and roles (such as "Scrum Team") in the matrix.
In the simplest case, according to the Scrum Handbook, the Product Owner is the only person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Even if the Product Owner commissions work on the development team, he remains accountable.
According to Scrum, stakeholders are also accountable and must be involved in the overall process. They should therefore be treated as managers in the RACI Matrix.
Let RACI work for you!
The RACI method is very effective when it is involved in task management. This automatically ensures, for example, that there is always exactly one processor for a task.
By means of a corresponding automail scheme in project management, it can be determined for each RACI role exactly who will be informed when and how. And a permission scheme can be used to determine who has access to a task and who does not, based on the RACI roles.
There are a number of variants of the RACI project management matrix to clarify responsibilities and responsibilities. A relatively extensive list can be found on Wikipedia.
DRASCI: Here are the roles "Driver" and "Support" added. The "Driver" supports the engineer in the management, while the "Support" assissts him in the execution level.
RASCI: The standard RACI matrix is supplemented by "support", ie the persons who support the "responsible" person in carrying out a task.
RACI-VS: There are two further areas: If a role is assigned a "Verify", it should check whether the defined product properties have been implemented as desired. "Signatory" means that a person approves the "Verify" result. In comparison to the standard RACI, further test steps are built in here.
CAIRO: Almost the standard RACI, only supplemented by "Omitted". If this value is assigned, participants are deliberately excluded from a task.