Responsibility Assignment Matrix – An introduction to RACI Matrix
It is always good for a project manager to be a good human resource manager as well. It is not that a project manager will be working like a human resource manager. There might be a human resource manager in your organization and as a project manager you need to work with that human resource manager for getting expertise and other important tasks related to human resource done. For this, you need to know best practices and worthy methodologies pertaining to human resource management. You need to tactfully understand the same. Whenever you acquire a project contract you need the resources to work on that project to accomplish project success.
You must notice a chart in your organization listing the name and their roles in the organization starting from a developer to the chief executive officer. This chart is hierarchical in nature and it is known as organizational chart. This is very important for a project manager to understand this chart before working on the project. As a project manager, you need to work with so many stakeholders to make the project a huge success. For this, you need to categorize the stakeholders based on the task associated with them. Such association of task-related activities to different stakeholders is known as RACI (Responsibility, Accountability, Conform and Inform) Matrix. You must be wondering what could be the role of RACI Matrix in project management.
R – Responsible (Who will be responsible for getting the task done)
A – Accountable (Who is accountable for a particular task and hence, the signatory authority)
C – Conform (The SMEs/expert who can be consulted regarding the issues)
I – Inform (Who are the people who need the project progress report)
So, now you can understand how important the RACI Matrix is for a project manager. You should logically understand the RACI chart for your project. You then have to categorize your stakeholders based on their core expertise in the RACI Matrix for getting work done as per the project requirement. While creating RACI for the project, a project manager must ensure that all the pertinent information is informed to every stakeholder and in this regard each stakeholder must be on a single page. The project manager is solely responsible for this. In majority of the organizations you can get a ready RACI Matrix and you just need to pick the right one based on the actual requirement of the project. You are lucky enough if you are getting this readily from your working organization.
Now, it is very important to understand the benefits of using RACI Matrix. Following are the few of the advantages of using this matrix:
- Better communication. You already know who should be informed about the project progress report (Category ‘I’) and while doing this you need not inform the people in the ‘C’ category. This will make your communication more effective and there would be no complexities.
- No one can say that they are overloaded with the responsibility. By referring RACI Matrix you can easily understand who are responsible for what. In this way you can manage the expectation of the stakeholders very well. A project manager should also see to that the same person is not assigned in many categories. If the same person is assigned in category ‘R’ and ‘A’ both, it could create problems. Try to assign only one task to one person to make communication much easier. Although it is not mandatory – same person can be assigned for more than one task.
- If you have some technical issues you may easily reach the people in category ‘C’ and discuss it with them. This saves your valuable time. You need not reach all the stakeholders for a discussion; you just have to reach that particular stakeholder who is in category ‘C’. Once again, it demonstrates your capability of ensuring good and smooth communication.
Bottom-line – A project manager must use RACI matrix in his/her project to make easy and effective communication. If you are using RACI matrix correctly, then there will surely be less conflict in the project pertaining to information sharing and project progress-status sharing. It is a good project management tool, which can be used by the project manager, to reduce conflicts related to communication.
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