The RACI model (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) can be very useful in defining how responsibilities should flow through an organization, and ensuring that everyone is in the right place with regards to their tasks and interaction with other employees. There are various things that are important to keep in mind when applying the RACI model, but as long as you remember the main points and are aware of the implications on your overall business model, you should be fine.
Understanding the different components of the RACI model and how they relate to each other is perhaps the most important step in applying it correctly. After that, all you really need is to make sure that the model is understood across all levels of your organization, and not just by high-level leadership.
The Meaning of Each Role
The RACI model identifies four main roles in any organization, and classifies responsibilities according to those roles. Those are namely the Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed roles, and every organization tends to naturally gravitate towards spreading their work across those roles in some capacity.
You’ll probably already know who the Responsible people in your company are – they are the ones that get tasked with the immediate execution of each part of the projects you’re running, and they perform the ground-level work. It’s important to note that Responsible people sometimes have a decision-making capacity as well, and they need to be equipped properly to do that job.
Accountable people, on the other hand, are those that submit the final report after the job is finished. They are normally the supervisors and managers of people in Responsible roles, and an organization needs to always have a good balance in the communications between these two roles. Of course, proper synergy with the other types of roles is just as important, but this is where things tend to be most critical.
Consulted people are usually those that provide external input on the current state of the project, and advise on how its different parts should be carried out. Normally, you’ll want to keep several responsible people here, while at the same time minimizing their number to avoid harmful interference.
Last but not least, it’s also important to identify who the Informed people are, and how they should receive reports about the current state of the project. Sometimes this will make all the difference in how work is carried out, and what kinds of results you can expect in the end.
How to Effectively Work with Different Roles
The key to seeing the true benefits of the RACI model is to know how each of the roles you’ve identified is related to your current work, and to apply each person’s skills appropriately. Remember, a good application of the RACI model will only tell you what roles exist in the context of your current organization, but it will do nothing in terms of telling you how those roles should be rearranged – if there is even a need for that.
Because of this, a truly effective application of the RACI model requires a good understanding of how your organization works in the first place, and what roles have the most importance in every situation. Sometimes you will see an overlap between certain roles, and you may even be unable to identify specific ones in your current organization. That’s fine though – the important thing is to understand the relationship between different employees and the impact that a damaged relationship can have on the overall state of the organization.
The RACI model is a great tool for learning more about the different roles involved in an organization’s work, and if you’re not certain how to rearrange the responsibilities within your own company, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what everyone is doing and what responsibilities they have. Chances are, you’re going to uncover some surprising patterns very quickly.