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  • Writer's pictureChris Staerck

RACI as a Governance Tool

Keeping your eye on the goal

In a business world where we are deluged with data and information, RACI brings discipline, structure and broad stakeholder engagement to how a team in an organisation addresses delivering a particular project or process effectively, efficiently, and with wider buy-in for the outcome, the goal desired. In short, it will help you keep your eye on the ball.

Eye on the goal

RACI brings together four key levels of engagement across the different roles in a team assigned to deliver a project or process, assessing how and where they engage and with whom to achieve a specified result. We recommend RACI creation is undertaken collectively. It should deliver most benefits with:

  • An accountable executive sponsor authorising the work to be done to improve the outcome of, and experience during the delivery of, a project or end-to-end process

  • A team leader to marshal the resources required to create the RACI, drawing on those assigned to deliver the project or process and keep the broader stakeholder population engaged

  • Clear management of expectations about what will be achieved, by whom, within a set timeframe and to specific quality criteria.

Why use RACI?

Unclear roles and responsibilities do not create high performing project teams. RACI can address this by bringing clarity to the process so that all players understand what is expected of them…

We’ve all had experience of working in project teams where unclear roles and responsibilities result in comments like those in the image below. Some may resonate more powerfully than others from your own experience, yet they need not occur in the first place.

team not playing to strength and pulling in different directions

  • RACI is used to understand, establish and communicate roles and responsibilities

  • It can be used for current state analysis or future state design and sense-checking

  • It is meant to allow the identification of both gaps and redundancies in roles or responsibilities.

How will RACI help your teams?

Using RACI will help your teams to:

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities associated with decision-making

  • Check whether the appropriate internal customers are consulted in the right processes at the right time

  • Understand what aspects of the business are handled in-house and which are delegated to third-party providers

  • Check, and assure stakeholders, that there are no gaps in the overall process requirements

  • Document activities, tasks and decisions that must be accomplished for effective delivery in important projects

  • Clarify roles and individual levels of participation in relation to each task / activity in the delivery of important projects.

The true benefits of RACI

By using RACI in important projects, your delivery teams can expect to see benefits like these:

  • Enhanced teamwork due to better cooperation and sharing of responsibilities in groups and functions

  • Improved motivation owing to clear objectives and achievements, both individually and collectively

  • More planning with, and involvement of all team members due to better links and communications

Increased productivity and greater impact, as well as eliminating duplicated effort.

What is RACI?

RACI is a chart, and a type of responsibility assignment matrix. RACI is a tool to help organisations codify how people in roles are involved with each other delivering a sequence of activities in a process.

What does RACI stand for?

RACI is an acronym for the four key levels of engagement by people delivering an end-to-end process. It can equally be applied to a distinct project, or a process in a larger repeatable operation.

R = Responsible (does the work)

The person who has to make something happen or actually do it.

A = Accountable (buck stops here)

The person who makes the final decision and has ultimate ownership.

C = Consulted (asked for input)

Must always be consulted before a decision or action is taken – a two-way process.

I = Informed (kept in the loop)

Must always be informed after a decision or action has been taken. You tell them.

RACI takes the form of a chart. RACI charting is a systematic and highly participative technique to:

  • Identify all functions (activities, tasks and decisions) that have to be accomplished for effective operation

  • Clarify roles and individual levels of participation in relation to each of these activities

  • Get those involved in the task together to agree who should be doing what

  • Get them involved so they are more likely to “buy-in” to the RACI that is produced and complete their tasks

At the end of the process you will have a matrix with lots of R, A, C and I letters plotted to signify allocation of the four key levels of engagement.

RACI charts

RACI charts look and feel like a matrix, with the tasks/activities on the vertical axis, and the roles to be performed by people on the horizontal axis.

There are pitfalls to be wary of during creation…

How to create a RACI

For guidance on how to develop a RACI chart, download the full insight as a PDF:

RACI as a governance tool by WEIGHT LIFTED Ltd -opt- April 2020
Download PDF • 813KB

For further information, please contact:

Chris Staerck, Director and Consulting Lead - WEIGHT LIFTED


Weight Lifted is London-based business with 50 years of combined experience in marketing, communications, design and consulting. We believe passionately in delivering a first-class outcome and experience for all our clients.


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