13 Feb, 2020
How will RACI help me in project management?
This informal CPD article “How will RACI help me in project management?” was provided by The Industry School, providers of innovative marketing workshops for the creative communications industry.
What is RACI?
RACI is an acronym for a powerful, yet simple, business methodology. The letters stand for:
- Responsible, meaning the individual responsible carrying out a piece of work
- Accountable, meaning the person ultimately answerable for that piece of work
- Consulted, referring to a person – or people- who contribute to the work by way of advice, ideas or insight
- Informed, meaning all the people who need to know about the work – or the decision to embark on it
Origins of RACI
The origins of RACI are difficult to track down, however it’s believed to have evolved from a seminal methodology called Goal Directed Project Management (GDPM). This dates back several decades, with the published works of three Norwegian experts, Kristoffer V. Grude, Tor Haug and Erling S. Andersen being the recognised texts on the subject.
RACI in action (vs inaction)
Imagine a scenario in which a project team creates a piece of marketing collateral. The files are signed off and the next stage is to brief printers on the print spec and get quotes. Where RACI is not practised, the project manager may well assume the production manager will do this work. The production manager, meanwhile, assumes the project manager is taking care of it. The upshot of course is that no one’s doing it. Furthermore, neither of these team members feels it’s their job to get print quotes – they both believe ownership of the task rests with the other.
Using a simple responsibility assignment (RACI) chart, our project manager can avoid this, and many other pitfalls.
RACI is especially useful in teams that don’t have a dedicated project manager but need to assign ownership of a project to, say, a marketing or brand manager. This individual may not have recognised project management skills or qualifications (nor experience in briefing printers). The RACI chart, in this instance will ensure the most appropriate team member is responsible for the task while other colleagues are kept in the loop.
RACI is also great for workload analysis. For example, if you have too many Rs in a horizontal line on your chart, you may be duplicating effort among your team members. If there are Rs missing, you may have a logjam somewhere in the organisation or be waiting for roles to be allocated.
Similarly, there must always be an A in any horizontal line. At least one person has to be accountable for every task. And conversely, more than one A in a line suggests you may want to streamline your procedures.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from The Industry School, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.