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What Is the RACI Model? How Can You Benefit from It?

What Is the RACI Model? How Can You Benefit from It?
Bitrix24 Team
February 25, 2022
Last updated: February 25, 2022

Projects within an organization require the participation of various stakeholders. To enhance the relationships with stakeholders and better manage them, you might want to resort to the RACI model. From this article, you'll find out about the specifics and advantages of the model. This information should come especially handy for traditional organizations — but companies that stick to the Agile methodology can also benefit from it.


The Essence of the RACI Model

The RACI model is an instrument that enables you to manage relationships with stakeholders. It's synonymous with the term "RACI matrix". The RACI abbreviation stands for:

  • Responsible

  • Accountable

  • Consulted

  • Informed

These are the four states of responsibility a stakeholder has over a specific task or deliverable.

To better visualize the information, you might want to resort to a RACI chart. It's a table that employs color-coding for each responsibility level. Some professionals prefer to call it "responsibility assignment matrix". Within the chart, each person should have only one responsibility level for each deliverable or activity group.


The Four RACI Roles

The RACI model reveals the level of each person's involvement with the specific task:

  • Responsible — a manager or another professional who bears direct responsibility for completing a project task

  • Accountable — a specialist with final authority over the completion of a particular task or deliverable

  • Consulted — a person whom it might be wise to consult because they can share valuable insights

  • Informed — an executive or customer who isn't directly involved in the project but you should notify them about updates nevertheless

Sometimes, you might come across variations of this acronym. Let's consider what they mean:

  • In the RASCI abbreviation, the letter S stands for Support. A supporter bears no responsibility for the task but can contribute to it somehow thanks to their unique skills and knowledge.

  • The letter Q in RACIQ implies quality review and assurance.

  • If you stick to the CAIRO model, you can purposefully omit some individuals because they are not relevant.

Finally, let's focus on the difference between the RACI model and RAPID. The former is an instrument for assigning responsibility for selected project tasks. The latter is a framework for handling responsibility for decision-making. You can resort to RAPID at a meeting when you need to structure the discussion. With its help, you'll make sure that high-level decisions take place consistently through meetings. But you can't apply this framework to a long-term project. Only RACI can help you to understand who is in charge of a particular task, who needs to always stay informed and who makes the final decision.



Best Software for the RACI Model

The efficiency of the RACI model will increase if you install dedicated task and project management software like Bitrix24.

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Importance of RACI Matrix

The RACI model is one of the easiest, the most efficient and the cheapest ways of enhancing stakeholder engagement. This engagement is considered to be the top-valued project management process. Before you start interacting with your stakeholders, you should figure out whether everyone fits into the project.

If you handle a large project, the following types of stakeholders might be involved in it:

  • Government regulators

  • VIP customers and project sponsors

  • Your organization's executives

  • Business analysts

  • Internal users of the product

  • Consumers

  • Suppliers

  • Investors

You need to listen to what regulators say to meet legal requirements. If you're too careless, any mistake might turn out to be too costly. You might have to redesign the product after its release, or pay a fine, or take the punishment in some other way.

You should strive to please your VIP clients because they are ready to pay a lot of money for your product. If they are not satisfied and stop using your services, your business might go bankrupt.

All the other types of shareholders are also crucial for your company, each in its individual way. You should think about the tastes and requirements of all of them and carefully juggle their interests.


Usage of the RACI Model

The RACI model might be a highly useful instrument but it doesn't fit 100% of projects. Your business structure and the scale of the project are the two crucial factors that determine how helpful this method might be.

The RACI matrix should be good for projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Are large-scale

  • Feature clear-cut workgroups or deliverables

  • Involve a wide variety of stakeholders for various aspects

  • Span several departments

  • Take place in businesses that have static roles and responsibilities

  • Belong to highly regulated industries

You might want to avoid using the RACI model for small projects that require the efforts of one department only. Also, the model would be excessive if your team works with an Agile framework like Scrum.

In a traditional company, RACI can help to improve collaboration and overcome functional silos. But in Agile companies, collaboration is already the basis of all business efforts and teams are cross-functional by default. Team members know how to distribute tasks among themselves without a top manager's command. However, this doesn't mean that Agile teams can't benefit from RACI at all. They can customize the model so that it meets their specific demands and fits their practices.


RACI Model Guidelines

To make the most of the RACI model, you might want to stick to the following guidelines:

  • There should be no more than one accountable per task or deliverable.

  • Each staffer should bear no more than only one type of responsibility. If you neglect this rule, the RACI matrix might become confusing.

  • Each accountable staffer should have enough authority to help to complete the task.

  • For each task, there are only two types of mandatory roles: accountable and responsible. Only complex tasks might require more roles.

  • Prioritize effective communication with the consulting professional.

  • Inform all stakeholders about all your updates.

  • To enhance stakeholder engagement, you might want to focus on the three key areas:

  • Corporate purpose

  • Active use of technology

  • Organizational agility

Here is what exactly you should do:

  • Before applying the RACI matrix, map out deliverables and activity groups. One of the biggest mistakes you might make at this stage is to start assigning individual responsibilities without consulting with experts. Only after you've outlined a roadmap for your project, you can begin to distribute the tasks.

  • Make lower-level staff responsible. Normally, only high-level executives and project managers have a right to make decisions. But if only one person has the final say, such an approach opens too many opportunities for bottlenecks. It might be wiser to delegate responsibilities and appoint someone from the product team. This person will assess the readiness of the product and report to the supervisor about it.

  • Standardize the approach across departments. All your teams should share an identical vision of how to distribute responsibilities and build mutually fruitful relationships with stakeholders.

Last but not least, you should use the appropriate software solutions. If you want the RACI matrix to deliver the best results, you should create the proper infrastructure for it. Let's purposefully focus on it in the next passage.


The Best Software for the RACI Model

The efficiency of the RACI model will increase if you install dedicated task and project management software. You might want to consider Bitrix24, one of the leading brands in this sphere. It features over 35 useful tools that enhance team collaboration and enables you to set tasks for individuals and teams. When you create a task, the professional to whom you have assigned it will get a notification.

For each task, you can create checklists and sub-tasks. Thanks to such an approach, your team members should be able to complete tasks quicker and easier. To save time and effort, you might want to automatically create repetitive tasks. Plus, you can save selected tasks and projects as templates.

Bitrix24 allows you to visualize your workflows in the following formats:

  • Gantt charts

  • Kanban boards

  • Planners

  • Calendars

  • Task dependencies

You'll never miss a deadline or an update because the system will keep sending you notifications and task reminders. Thanks to the autofocus mode, Bitrix24 can filter out the most relevant tasks. If your team often needs to juggle multiple tasks, you should appreciate the opportunity of sorting these tasks with the help of filters and the quick search function.

You can flexibly modify access rights and permissions for each task and project. You can decide who of your team members can create, delete, edit and delegate tasks — on both the individual user and whole department levels.

To discuss the progress of the project, you can use the extensive selection of in-build communication tools: comments, audio and video calls, video conferences and chats. Inside each task, your staffers can leave comments, respond to comments, give likes, share links and attach files. You can start a separate chat for every project your team is currently working on.

Bitrix24 allows you to keep all the documents that are relevant for your current workflows in online cloud storage. The cloud enables you to edit and share documents, open them on various devices 24/7 and modify access rights for them. You can edit the documents collaboratively with all your team in real-time.

It should be very easy for your to monitor your staff's performance with Bitrix24. This solution integrates with the Billable Hours app to track working hours and generate invoices. Supervisors have a right to either decline or confirm each task report your staffers submit. Your staffers can submit daily, weekly or monthly reports within Bitrix24, using convenient templates. These reports should help you to allocate your resources more rationally and distribute the workload more evenly.

Bitrix24 is an indispensable solution for a Scrum team. It features backlog, sprints, story points and other essential Scrum tools. If you would like to customize the RACI to your workflows, Bitrix24 should be of great help to you.

This software is available as a cloud or on-premise solution as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android. You can try its basic functionality at no cost. The free plan accommodates an unlimited number of users but offers only 5 GB of online storage space. If you need more, you get upgrade to one of the three paid plans:


The name of the plan

Number of users

Price per month

Basic

5

$39

Standard

50

$79

Professional

Unlimited

$149


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you found this article informative and now you better understand the essence and benefits of the RACI model. The model includes four responsibility levels: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. You might want to visualize them with a color-coded chart. RACI should be particularly helpful for traditional businesses. If a company that sticks to Agile methodology wants to use this model, it should customize it. To make the most of the RACI method, you need to make sure all your teams and departments have an identical vision of it. Besides, it would be wise to install project management software, such as Bitrix24.

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