I have written previously about how useful a RACIS chart is when defining and agreeing roles and responsibilities. In the relatively short term change initiative environment it’s essential that the team and the business know what their responsible .
The chart is an essential governance tool and seeks to capture the various roles and responsibilities within the team. It also aims to encapsulate the teams limitations in terms of roles, and how it interacts with the wider business. RACIS is a mnemonic meaning:
R: Responsible (for actually doing/delivering the work, a ‘doers)
A: Accountable (Can make decisions regarding the work item, agrees the work is correct and signs it off as complete, ‘throat to choke’)
C: Consulted (has information and can speak about the task and consulted about the work, ‘stakeholder’)
I: Informed (anyone whose work depends on the completion of this task, kept up to date)
S: Support (anyone whose help is required to do the work)
How to use it
Think about the audience for the chart and that will inform the level of detail. For example for the highest level in the business it’s not necessary to include the detailed steps for testing.
- Once the level of detail is understood, list the steps & tasks on the left hand side to the appropriate level of detail. It’s useful to match the approach/steps detailed in the project plan/schedule.
- Insert the target date against which the task is to be completed.
- List the various roles across the top row, including names if known.
- Insert a letter (R.A.C.I.S.) in each cell.
Note that I’ve added two extra items to the standard RACIS chart. Firstly, I’ve added a colour code to each cell. This is useful when pulling out detail about who’s doing all the work and whose bearing the accountabilities. If you use a spreadsheet you can filter on individuals and by letter.
The second added extra is the addition of a RAG (Red, Amber & Green) status for each task – this adds an additional level of control and tracking and can help when looking for resource bottlenecks.
When it is used
RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed and Support) charting techniques can be used for charting project/programme roles and in the organisational redesign scenario, current and intended roles and responsibilities. The technique can be used either on its own or to supplement other diagnostics, and governance artefacts. This can be useful to agree roles and responsibilities with stakeholders and a project team – preferably at the outset. However, it is also a useful tool to use if there is confusion over roles and responsibilities throughout the delivery of change.