Before your team starts a new project, you might identify a clear project owner (most likely you if you are the project manager) and the designers, engineers, and product testers. There are also internal stakeholders outside of your core project team who will want to provide input to the project or just stay up to date on the project's status. A RACI template (or a RACI matrix template) helps your whole team identify the roles and responsibilities for a project and formalizes how internal stakeholders stay involved in the project.
The RACI acronym stands for the following:
- Responsible (person executing tasks)
- Accountable (person person making sure tasks get done)
- Consulted (typically subject matter experts who provide info on tasks)
- Informed (person who is kept up to date on project status)
What is a RACI template?
A RACI template is a diagram or chart that shows a list of your project's tasks and the person who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed for each task. Typically, the job title is listed across the top and the tasks are listed along the left-hand side. At the intersection of each job title and task, you will put the letters "R," "A," "C," or "I" to indicate the role or responsibility of that team member for that task.
The RACI template is a helpful project management tool for anyone on your project team and for internal stakeholders. It is tempting to assign multiple letters (e.g. responsibilities) for one person for a given task. An important part of the RACI template is to assign
role for each person so that it's clear what each person's deliverables are.
How to use this RACI template?
Step 1: Add or edit existing job titles
page, you will see the main table of tasks in the first column and a specific job title in all following columns. Edit these job title columns to match the job titles for your team and company. You can also add additional job titles by clicking the plus sign all the way to the right of the table. Each of these job titles represents an accountable person in your RACI template.
Step 2: Add tasks
The next step is to add tasks to the table. This RACI template has a simple table of tasks, but feel free to browse more advanced
in the Coda template gallery. You can add new tasks by clicking the
Add a Task
button or remove all the current dummy data by clicking
. Once you have a list of tasks with the relevant job titles, it's time to fill out your RACI matrix.
Step 3: Select a letter in the RACI matrix
For each intersection of project task and job title, click on the dropdown in the cell to select a letter from the RACI acronym. This is where you need to think about the decision making for each person in the project so that you can select the appropriate letter for that person. Some project roles will involve two-way communications (such as someone who is Consulted) and other project roles are one-way communication (someone who is Informed).
Step 4: Update task status
Having a RACI matrix template or RACI chart template that shows the roles and responsibilities might be enough for your project's needs. Most RACI templates in Excel will just be a static list of tasks and job roles. When you scroll down the page, you'll see the same list of tasks along with a column for "Status" and "RACI Notes." You can change the "Status" column as tasks get completed. The "RACI Notes" column is a formula that tells you how many people are Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed for a given task. This notes column updates in real-time as you assign roles to different job roles in your RACI model.
Get started with: RACI template
Most RACI templates or responsibility assignment matrix templates are static Microsoft Excel files, PowerPoint slides, or PDF that is difficult to update. This RACI template in Coda can be updated in real-time as new tasks and job roles are added to your project.
What is a RACI matrix?
A RACI matrix shows the role or responsibility of someone for a particular task in your project. Instead of having ambiguous responsibilities or resorting to the project manager being the "owner" of every task, a RACI matrix identifies a responsible person for each task. Each person holds a different role for the tasks depending on if they are:
for completing the task
for making sure the task gets completed
for their expertise on a particular task
on the status of the project tasks
The different roles & responsibilities that makes up RACI
While the RACI matrix aims to create clear expectations for each person, there can be some overlap and confusion between each role. For instance, the person who is Responsible for a task may also be the person Accountable for the task. The key difference is that the Responsible person is the one who is
the task while the person who is Accountable is making sure the task is done by the Responsible person.
Roles and responsibilities in a RACI matrix template rely on your team and organizational structure. While project management software and Excel templates can help you with charting who is responsible, the intangible part of a RACI template is how your team is structured (and who should be responsible for task completion).
How to create a RACI matrix
At the most basic level, you should have a list of tasks along the left and a list of job roles along the top (columns). Now that you have a table of tasks in the rows and job roles in the columns, you can mark the role of each person for a particular task. The goal is to create a matrix of who is accountable for various tasks in your project.
Common FAQs about a RACI template
What does RACI stand for?
RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. These are the 4 distinct roles and responsibilities a person on your team can hold for a particular task. There should only be one person who holds one of these roles for a task.
How do you use a RACI chart?
You can use a RACI chart by looking at a specific task in the table and seeing who is accountable for different aspects of the task. Perhaps you want to communicate to the Informed stakeholders about project updates. Or you may want to contact the person Responsible for the task to ensure they have the resources to complete the task at hand.
What is the difference between responsible and accountable in a RACI?
There is sometimes an overlap and confusion between the person who is Responsible and the person who is Accountable for a task.
The key difference is that the Responsible person is the one
the task. This might be a software engineer who is the one writing the code for a product feature. The Accountable person is the one who just makes sure the task gets
. This might be a project manager or product manager who is in charge of the product launch or completion of the project.