Effective role allocation through RACI matrix (Updated)

    Have you often encountered such a phenomenon as an irrational distribution of responsibilities? How many times had to observe how one person "jack of all trades" performs work for five? And the so-called “specialist who does not understand what” is familiar? Such options, as well as the like, were often seen earlier in domestic realities. Many people have to observe this “scoop”, and even worse, feel it on their personal skin to this day in many government agencies.

    Such clever phrases as “separation of powers” ​​are often spoken about. But does everyone know how to put it into practice, and who manages to really take advantage of it? Having looked closely, we conclude that this phenomenon is, by and large, in private sector companies, especially those working with a foreign client.

    It is because of the "hillock" that a curious abbreviation called RACI came to us. At the same time, often in front of her one can observe various kinds of cleverness a la “matrix” or “model”. What is it and what it is eaten with, I will try to explain to the reader further. Perhaps someone is already lucky to work in teams where everyone knows their responsibilities and area of ​​responsibility - you can only be happy for such people. At the same time, I personally believe that not everyone has everything ideally in the field of separation of powers. For such people, this article may be useful.

    So what is a RACI matrix? This acronym breaks down into four specific roles:
    • Responsible (marked with the letter R on the matrix ) - directly responsible for the work
    • Accountable ( A ) - accountable, only one person in one task can take such a role
    • Consulted ( C ) - one employee or group with whom consultations are held regarding a task and whose opinions should be taken into account
    • Informed ( I ) - employees notified of a specific task.

    Also, there are two advanced versions of the model.
    RACI-VS , 2 roles are added here:
    • Verifies ( V ) - one employee or group that verifies that the result of the task is consistent with the agreed advance criteria
    • Signs off ( S ) - approves the delivery of the product to the customer (task completion). This role can be combined with an accountable role.

    When using a variant of the RASCI model , one new role appears:
    Supportive ( S ) - provides additional resources for performing work, such as supporting the implementation of a product, for example.

    On the one hand - “many letters” and nothing is clear. On the other hand, in order to become clearer, I want to show by example how the RACI matrix itself looks.

    You do not have to be a “Cap” to understand that the heading of the table displays a list of functional roles responsible for a particular task or participating directly in the decision. The items “Activity 1-5” are actually functions that fall on the shoulders of the above roles.

    In order to understand by what principle such a plate should be drawn, as well as how to use it in practice (in real projects), it is recommended to pay due attention to the following procedure for constructing a matrix:

    • We determine the list of necessary activities / processes in the task (project)
    • We define and indicate the functional roles (people who are interested or who are affected by this task in one way or another)
    • We gather a rally and assign RACI codes (actually - letters) to specific roles, we directly distinguish between responsibilities
    • We identify inconsistencies (for example, too many responsible or lack thereof)
    • We describe the table and collect reviews
    • We control the execution of assigned roles

    I admit that it will not be easy for someone to associate Latin letters with the functions that are meant by them. Nevertheless, I would not advise using their Russian versions - it is likely that there will be confusion, it will become even more difficult to figure out what's what.

    And finally, after we finished developing the RACI model, it would not hurt to analyze the results.

    By functional roles, we can analyze, answering the following questions:
    • A lot of “A” - are responsibilities assigned correctly? Are bottlenecks available?
    • A lot of "R" - aren't we too much responsibility hung on one role?
    • The absence of empty cells in the table - should this role really be involved in so many tasks?

    Also, do not forget to analyze the activities performed:
    • More than one A - only one role must be accountable
    • Lack of "A" - you need to find an accountable
    • More than one “R” or lack thereof - someone must be responsible, however we do not need responsibility to be widely distributed - there is a risk that the task will not be completed
    • A lot of "C" - should we consult with many roles and will it be effective?
    • Lack of “C” and “I” - are our communications established correctly?

    I would like to dwell on this, so as not to make the reader bored. How adequate is the distribution of functions, exactly how to use such a model is up to you. Whether it will work in post-Soviet realities is a moot point. However, working with a foreign customer, the RACI matrix will not only be superfluous, but will also give a clear understanding to everyone about the activities in the project and the people performing them. And the customer, as you know, for the most part, wants to clearly know who and for what is responsible in the task assigned to him.

    I would also like to mention that the RACI matrix is ​​by no means a tool for determining the scapegoat, if only because people who have agreed to spend time compiling it must understand its purpose and purpose a priori.

    PS It would be interesting in the comments to hear the opinions of readers about the possibility of using such a means of distributing functions, as well as share personal experience - whoever has one.

    UPD At the request of the Sibarit user, I ’ll try to give a quick example of using the model for a specific task.

    Suppose we have an airline company that is going to introduce an online check-in system on its website. Global activities required to be carried out in the context of a task will be approximately the following: collection of system requirements; solution design; direct development of a solution; implementation; Actually - the stage of "production"; solution optimization.

    Next, we define a list of functional roles; in this task, the following options are possible: an internal service provider (airline IT department) or an external service provider in the absence of the first; ISP - a company providing hosting for the airline's website; airline business unit (representing the interests of the customer); financial department (accounting); service manager (depending on the size of the organization, may be part of the internal IT department); development team (depending on the size of the organization, may be part of the internal IT department).

    Let's try to arrange RACI codes according to the roles and the activities they perform (it is clear that this process takes place with the participation of all parties).

    Thus, roles and functions in this task will be distributed. I want to note right away that in this and any other project, the matrix options can be different, depending on the specific needs of different companies. I am unsure that after such an example readers will have a more complete picture of the possibilities of using the RACI matrix.

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