Why the RACI Model Makes Your Next Project More Effective

Why the RACI Model Makes Your Next Project More Effective

When roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined for all parties involved, project management can quickly devolve into disappointment. Ambiguity about what must get done, who should be working on it, and when it should be finished can lead to duplicated efforts, confusion, and frustration.

All of this undermines your team’s efficiency and morale. Moreover, as teams adopt remote structures and increasingly engage independent talent, clarity about duties, input, and oversight is more important than ever, with talent management strategies evolving every day.

One method for efficiently delegating tasks is the RACI model. The RACI model is a table-based matrix in which roles and responsibilities are delineated to allow everyone to collaborate as they move toward collective goals.

This article will cover how the RACI model impacts organizational success and a few of the major benefits of implementing the RACI model.

What is a RACI chart and how is it used?

Agreeing on the decision-making authority at the beginning of a project’s life span can help avoid wasted time, aggravation, and internal unrest among your team members.

A RACI chart, sometimes called a RACI model or matrix, is a visual diagram specifying the key roles and responsibilities of all team members assigned to any major task.

RACI stands for:

  • Responsible: This person does the work to get the task done. The responsible party is generally one person with decision-making power.
  • Accountable: This person is accountable for the task being correct and complete. The accountable party is also typically one person.
  • Consulted: These people provide vital information toward the project and make two-way communication mandatory for the project’s success. The consulted party generally consists of a small group of people who tend to be experts in a relevant subject matter to the project.
  • Informed: These people should be kept in the loop regarding the project’s progress and make one-way communication essential. The informed party tends to consist of multiple people who are communally affected by finishing the tasks associated with the project’s completion.

It’s important to note that the RACI chart does not replace any project plan or productivity timeline that your company may utilize to keep up with active assignments. The RACI chart only outlines the functional roles or responsibilities of each worker across major tasks within a given project.

RACI charts are designed so that all tasks are listed in due order vertically down the left side of the table. The position titles of involved team members are listed horizontally across the top of the table. Color coding the appropriate RACI letters and placing them in their appropriate grid allows team members to quickly find whom they might need to speak to about issues relevant to the project.

The following is an example RACI chart:

RACI Matrix Example

As a collaboration tool, the RACI chart eliminates vast swaths of wasted time. One of the great joys of hiring independent talent through Upwork is that every role in your team can be filled by a competent professional with expertise and versatility who’s at the ready.

Being able to guide these vetted workers to your company’s RACI chart for a given project means you don’t lose time due to your remote team members figuring out the decision-making hierarchy on their own. It also ups the ante on your company’s productivity because that time is spent on clients and associated projects.

How the RACI model can make your projects more effective

Project managers are generally always looking for innovative talent management strategies that can help tasks get accomplished more smoothly and keep team members from wondering over which responsibilities belong to whom. For these reasons and many more, a RACI chart can improve your company’s efficiency.

The following represent five of the major benefits of implementing a RACI chart for your company’s projects.

Prevent duplication of efforts

Few things are less optimal for a business than two workers who have inadvertently completed the same task. This is especially true when working with remote talent, as many of these professionals are paid on a by-project, contractual basis. Any ambiguity that results in twin tasks being completed results in extra money your company spends making up that lost time and paying those two workers.

Bringing on technical talent solely responsible for a particular element of a project is possible once the RACI chart has identified a gap in your team’s skills. You may find that the RACI chart identifies overlap in the typical contributions of regular team members. Identifying these overlaps and gaps allows you to address them before they cost your company money or invaluable time.

Clarify the path to a project’s completion

When managing multiple projects and tasks, many team members benefit from referencing a simple visual that maps the path to a project’s completion.

One of the most fundamental benefits of utilizing a RACI chart is that this visual tool eliminates many questions of the “who’s next” variety. This means that when you implement a RACI chart, your team members do not have to guess as to the chain of command or the flow of work, whether upward or downward.

Let’s say that one of your independent writers is scripting text for an advertisement that will be used across several different projects. Rather than taking the time to write emails or make phone calls asking pertinent questions about where a document should go after they finish it, a RACI chart allows that worker to quickly reference and move on. Maybe that same document is found to have some errors and needs to be reviewed by someone in management before being passed along. A RACI chart outlines who should be involved in every step.

Minimize power struggles

No team, hybrid or otherwise, benefits from in-fighting or arguments among team members. When workers are not sitting across from one another and go weeks, and even months, without interacting face to face, power struggles can ensue. A RACI chart circumvents disagreements before they start by outlining who’s responsible for what.

One strong indicator of longevity and success in the new normal of remote work is agility in talent management. A RACI chart is a collaborative tool that smooths the delivery process for any project while quelling future problems and connecting team members via shared expectations.

Move forward decisively

Project managers want to be able to hand team members as much autonomy as possible right away. Of the recognized challenges associated with remote teams, one of the most oft-cited is useful communication. A RACI model addresses this common obstacle by making chain-of-command guidelines visible, color-coded, and readily available.

Your team members can move forward with any aspect of a project when they have a tool that allows them to know what the next steps involve. Whether this entails where to send customer complaints or who needs to sign off on a weekly invoice, a RACI chart gives team members and projects greater velocity.

Efficiently collect key feedback

Every member of your team holds valuable information that, when shared properly, can make a sizable difference in the way your company runs and the quality of products you put out. A well-placed RACI chart is one way to amplify workers’ voices on all business affairs.

Project managers should not have to hunt for feedback on any aspect of a project, and team members should not have to seek out who to report feedback. Whether you need to know something as commonplace as if a given task was done on time or field something as serious as a complaint about the company culture, the RACI chart can direct key feedback to the places it most needs to go.

Accelerate your projects with the right professionals

A RACI chart represents one more way to integrate your remote or hybrid teams and form a cohesive unit aimed at a common goal. If you’re currently assessing the pros and cons of alternatives to staffing, look no further than the global pool of independent talent readily available through Upwork.

Upwork has helpful resources to assist you through every stage of building your remote or hybrid team, as well as direct contact with industry experts eager to join your next project. Upwork represents a powerful source for skilled independent professionals who can fill any talent gaps that emerge in filling out your company’s RACI chart.

Projects related to this article:
No items found.

Author Spotlight

Why the RACI Model Makes Your Next Project More Effective
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

Get This Article as a PDF

For easy printing, reading, and sharing.

Download PDF

Latest articles

X Icon