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What is a RACI matrix

What is a RACI matrix? (with examples)

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Say your team is asked to design a new product feature. Exciting news—but you'll need more information before you get cracking. Who's approving the project, building it, and managing the timeline? The quickest way to collect and communicate that information is a RACI matrix, a diagram that shows who's doing what on your project.

With this guide, you'll discover:

  • What a RACI matrix is, and how it assists with project management
  • How to improve your project plan with a responsibility matrix
  • How to build your own RACI diagram with FigJam's RACI chart template

What is a RACI matrix?

A RACI matrix—often called a RACI chart or responsibility assignment matrix (RAM)—is a project management tool that captures the roles and responsibilities of project stakeholders. Team members can see who does what at a glance, clarifying different roles across complex projects. The acronym RACI stands for:

  • Responsible refers to the individual or group performing a particular task. For example, the UX team might be tapped as the responsible party for mapping out specific product design features. Make sure each task has at least one responsible person.
  • Accountable refers to the person who ensures a task is completed successfully. To avoid confusion, make sure teach task has only one accountable role. This is usually filled by a manager or a high-level team member with the authority to delegate project tasks.
  • Consulted describes individuals whose feedback factors into project workflows, but aren't involved in day-to-day tasks. This includes subject matter experts or decision makers who are consulted for input or sign-off on project milestones. For example, a business analyst may be consulted about competitive research to inform design decisions.
  • Informed describes anyone who needs updates on task progress across project phases, but isn't necessarily involved in task execution. For example, developers building design features may need real-time updates on design task completion or setbacks to plan their work.

In this matrix example, the UI designer is responsible for creating the design and the product owner is accountable for making sure that design gets done. The content writer may be consulted, and the CEO is informed about project milestones.

4 key benefits of a RACI matrix

The RACI matrix is commonly used in agile and scrum methodologies because it helps keep complex projects moving toward successful completion in four key ways:

1. Role clarity

By clearly defining Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed roles, a RACI matrix minimizes confusion, ambiguity, and overlap. This ensures that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and understands what is expected of them.

2. Communication

A RACI matrix outlines who should be consulted and informed at every stage of the project. This invites open and consistent communication—the lifeblood of any team project.

3. Efficiency

Outlining distinct roles and responsibilities with a RACI chart helps streamline team efforts and clarify project tasks, helping your project run smoother and faster.

4. Accountability

When you put your RACI matrix on your project dashboard, everyone can see who's responsible for which tasks and project deliverables. This establishes shared accountability, fostering teamwork and ownership among team members.

How to build a RACI matrix in 5 steps

You can create a RACI matrix for effective project management in five steps using this RACI matrix template in FIgJam.

  1. Outline all tasks. Start by listing all the tasks or deliverables for the project. In the first column of your table, prioritize and arrange tasks in the order they must be accomplished.
  2. Identify project team members. Name all team members or stakeholders involved in the project. List them across the top row.
  3. Assign project roles. For each specific task, assign RACI roles (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) to the appropriate team member. Make sure to assign one accountable person per task, to keep project progress on track.
  4. Review and revise. Double check that each project task is identified and every team member's role is represented. Leaving out tasks or roles can create confusion and leave project gaps. Plan regular reviews to update the matrix with ongoing changes, like completed tasks, role shifts, or new tasks.
  5. Communicate and implement. Whenever possible, involve the whole team in the creation of the RACI matrix. To build buy-in and understanding. Once project team members and stakeholders sign off on the matrix, incorporate the tasks into your project management process.

3 alternative approaches to RACI charts

While the RACI model is widely used, this exhaustive list provides alternatives. These three may be more suitable depending on a project's or organization's needs:

  • RAPID: This methodology created by Bain & Company coordinates decision-making in five steps: Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide.
  • DACI: This framework aids group decision-making by assigning specific roles: Driver, Approver, Contributor and Informed.
  • RASCI: This variation of the RACI model acronym includes an additional "S" for Supportive team members.

Jumpstart your RACI matrix with FigJam

To make your own RACI matrix, try the free FigJam RACI matrix template. Then finesse your matrix with these pro tips:

  • To get your team involved with your RACI, use FigJam's collaborative features like stamps, stickers, emotes, and high-fives.
  • Transform tasks and deliverables into actionable to-dos with FigJam's task management widgets, project management integrations, and Gantt chart maker.
  • Customize your matrix with brand elements from your company's Figma brand library.
  • For more inspiration, browse the library of RACI matrix templates shared by the Figma design community.

Ready to assign project roles and responsibilities?