Communication is critical in organizations and on project teams. If I can learn something than improves how a project runs, I’m all for it.

One thing I learned is the RACI method, or RACI matrix. As a communication tool, it allows teams to understand who is responsible for what.

Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed

These are the four roles that a person can play in a project.

  • Accountable - Who has the final approval of the project and whether it meets its intended goals. As someone once said, this is the person whose ass is on the line.
  • Responsible - Who will do the work. Every project and task must have one person assigned to this. Be careful when you notice more than one responsible party; the item should be broken down further.
  • Consulted - A person who has information of value to the project will be consulted as-needed to help the project succeed. This could be a subject matter expert or another member in the org with a vested interest in the outcome of the project.
  • Informed - Sometimes there are people who do not need to make decisions in the project, but need to know what is happening.

You may have noticed I listed these in “ARCI” order rather than “RACI”. While RACI is easier to say and remember, I sometimes mix up the Accountable and Responsible roles. Putting Accountable first helps me remember that the most senior person is probably the Accountable party - the VP or manager who must make sure the project succeeds.

Written on December 10, 2020