RACI is an acronym of Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. The matrix design of the RACI Matrix describes the participation of the various functional roles in the project or business process, in completing tasks or results.
In a roles and responsibilities matrix, the same person can be both responsible and accountable for a task, however, not everyone responsible for a task can be held accountable. This is because while there might be several people responsible for a task (such as members of a team), only one individual can be accountable to sign off tasks, approve decisions and be responsible for deliverables. The one who is accountable is not only charged with the successful execution of the task but is also answerable in case there is a failure to provide deliverables on time.
Responsible: the person carrying out the task is responsible for the execution. Subsequently, the executor must provide justification to the ‘Accountable’ person.
Responsible in the RACI chart implies anyone who must complete a task or make a decision. In other words, anyone responsible for getting something done is assigned with an R. Using this roles and responsibilities matrix, several people who might be responsible for various tasks and decisions can be defined in the form of a chart.
Accountable: this person bears final responsibility for the correct completion of one or multiple project tasks. Others are accountable to him or her and he or she must approve the task (sign off). It’s possible that an ‘Accountable’ is appointed per task.
People who are deemed accountable in the RACI matrix include individuals who must sign off or approve tasks, decisions, and objectives. It is worth mentioning here that only one person can be accountable for a task and deliverable. This is important to remember to correctly use the RACI matrix.
Consulted: this is the person who is consulted beforehand. This is a two-way street; in addition to giving advice, he or she also helps in the execution and steers the result.
Consulted includes individuals who are subject matter experts or whose opinion is considered for input before the work is signed off. These active participants are kept in loop so that they can provide timely input.
Informed: this person is kept informed with up-to-date information about the progress and achieved results. This is a one-way street.
People who might be required to receive updates on the project or progress of executable tasks fall in the informed section on the RACI Chart. These people don’t directly contribute to the task or decisions.